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Oosthuizen's career in doubt?

Thu, 06 Mar 2014 11:51
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Three changes
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Questions have again been raised about the future of the Cheetahs' Springbok prop, Coenie Oosthuizen, after yet another serious neck injury.

The Cheetahs confirmed that Oosthuizen is heading home from Australia - where their team plays the Reds on Friday - as a result of his third serious neck injury in the past few years.

He missed large parts of the season in 2012, when he aggravated a previous injury in a Test against England, but recovered to play the entire 2013.

It was suggested that a shift from loosehead prop, where he played most of his senior career, to tighthead (where he last played regularly at school) would alleviated the strain on his neck.

However, he again aggravated the injury in the loss to the Rebels last week.

Rossouw de Klerk has been flown to Brisbane as a replacement.

Team management suggested the Bok front row forward could return to action late in April or early May, but Oosthuizen is scheduled to see a specialist in South Africa next week - which will confirm the length of his lay-off.

* Meanwhile the Cheetahs team to face the Reds shows three changes and a positional switch.

Former South African Under-20 front row forward Nicolaas van Dyk, a specialist tighthead prop, will start in place of Oosthuizen - with discarded Bok utility front row Trevor Nyakane still stuck on the bench - presumably to cover both sides.

Injured wing Raymond Rhule failed a fitness test and Willie le Roux was moved from fullback to wing, with Hennie Daniller coming into the No.15 jersey.

On the other win Ryno Benjamin replaces fellow Sevens Bok Cornal Hendricks.

Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Francois Venter, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Nicolaas van Dyk, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 Rynhardt Landman, 20 Jean Cook, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks.

Date: Friday, March 7
Venue: Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane
Kick-off: 18.40 (08.40 GMT; 10.40 SA time)
Referee: Garratt Williamson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Angus Gardner (Australia), Matt O'Brien (Australia)
TMO: Steve Leszczynski (Australia)

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