Midfield blow for Cheetahs

Mon, 01 May 2017 19:52

INJURY UPDATE: The Cheetahs suffered a cruel midfield blow as they look to end a six-match losing streak.

Coming off a series of heavy losses - including defeats to the Chiefs (27-41) and Crusaders (21-48) in Bloemfontein - the Cheetahs host the high-flying Highlanders on Friday.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith confirmed to rugby365 that powerful centre Nico Lee will be sidelined for four to six weeks with an ankle injury.

This means that not only will he miss the encounter with a Highlanders team that put 57 points past the Stormers the past weekend, Lee will also miss the three-match road trip later this month - which includes matches against the Blues and Hurricanes in New Zealand.

Lee will only be available again when the Cheetahs return from the June international break.

The good news is that flyhalf Fred Zeilinga has recovered from his injury and will most likely be available this week.

"There are no other major injuries [from the loss to the Crusaders]," Smith told rugby365.

William Small-Smith is likely to come into the midfield to partner captain Francois Venter - who appeared in his 50th Super Rugby match in the loss to the Crusaders last Saturday. 

By Jan de Koning
@king365ed
@rugby365com

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 26 May 2017
Blues v Chiefs 07h45 Auckland
Reds v Force 09h45 Suncorp Stadium
Sat, 27 May 2017
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 05h15 Tokyo
Highlanders v Waratahs 07h35 Dunedin
Rebels v Crusaders 09h45 Melbourne
Bulls v Hurricanes 13h05 Loftus Versfeld
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
Sharks v Stormers 15h15 Kings Park
Munster v Scarlets 17h15 Dublin
Jaguares v Brumbies 21h40 Buenos Aires
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 12h30 Ellis Park Stadium
Wed, 31 May 2017
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 11 4 0 7 23
Waratahs 11 4 0 7 19
Reds 11 3 0 8 16
Force 11 3 0 8 13
Rebels 11 1 1 9 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 12 12 0 0 54
Hurricanes 11 9 0 2 43
Chiefs 11 9 0 2 43
Highlanders 12 9 0 3 41
Blues 12 6 0 6 31
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 11 7 0 4 30
Bulls 11 3 0 8 15
Cheetahs 12 2 0 10 11
Sunwolves 11 1 0 10 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 12 11 0 1 51
Sharks 12 8 1 3 38
Jaguares 11 5 0 6 24
Kings 11 4 0 7 19