Cook jumps the Cheetahs queue
Jean Cook, imported from the Bulls, has jumped ahead of Sevens Springbok Johannes Prinsloo in the Cheetahs loose forward queue.
Jean Cook, imported from the Bulls in the off-season, has jumped ahead of Sevens Springbok Johannes Prinsloo in the Cheetahs loose forward queue.
Cook, who started his career with the Cheetahs where he made only one senior appearance before switching to the Bulls in 2012, is set to fill the gap left by injured Bok openside flank Heinrich Brussow.
It has been confirmed that Cook will start - alongside Pieter Labuschagné and Philip van der Walt - as the Cheetahs' first-choice loose trio against the Southern Kings on Saturday.
Prinsloo, who stood in for Brussow when the nuggety Bok was playing in Japan during the Currie Cup season last year, will be part of the loose trio that starts against the Nelson Mandela Metropole University on Tuesday.
Prinsloo, Teboho Mohoje and Carel Greeff will be the loose trio against NMMU in Port Elizabeth.
Cook looks set to get an extended run in the Cheetahs' frontline selection, as it has been confirmed that Brussow will miss at least the first six weeks of Super Rugby after suffering a fracture toe playing for his Japanese club Docomo Red Hurricanes.
Cheetahs assistant coach Hawies Fourie confirmed that the players who will feature against the Kings on Saturday are basically their first-choice players.
"The guys facing NMMU [on Tuesday] are basically all back-up [players] in their respective positions," Fourie told this website, adding that they are playing for places in the Cheetahs' Super Rugby tour squad.
"We go on tour very early, after the second game against the Bulls [on February 21]," the Cheetahs backline coach said, adding that they will name a tour squad of 27.
"Everybody want to be part of that tour group, and they are playing for places in that squad.
"It [the trials] already started last week [in matches against Shimlas and Griquas last Friday], but it will be more critical in the two games we play this week," he said of the encounters with NMMU on Tuesday and Southern Kings on Saturday.
Fourie confirmed that for some of the players Tuesday will be their last chance to play in the pre-season matches.
"The matchday 23 that will play against the Pumas next week will be the team we want to feature in the opening match against the Lions [on February 13] and the next match [Round Two] against the Bulls [on February 21].
"So for a handful of players this match [against NMMU] is their last chance to stake a claim for that group."
NMMU: 15 Jarryd Buys, 14 Yamkela Ngam, 13 Michael Bernardt, 12 Steven Hansel, 11 Tythan Adams, 10 Gavin Hauptfleisch, 9 Enrico Acker, 8 Tim Agaba, 7 Wade Elliott, 6 Marcel Groenewald, 5 Stefan Willemse, 4 Louis Fourie, 3 Dexter Fahey, 2 Martin Ferreira, 1 Roy Godfrey (captain).
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Piet Lindeque, 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Inus Kritzinger, 8 Johannes Prinsloo, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Carel Greeff, 5 Rynhardt Landman, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Nico van Dyk, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Kevin Luiters, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Raymond Rhule.
Date: Tuesday, January 21
Venue: NMMU Sports Dtadium
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
By Jan de Koning