Cheetahs bench a Bok

Wed, 03 May 2017 12:03
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Cheetahs coach Franco Smith made a host of changes to his team to take on the Highlanders in Bloemfontein on Friday.

Top of the list is the inclusion of Paul Schoeman at flank in the starting XV, with Springbok loose forward Uzair Cassiem dropping down to the replacement bench.

Carl Wegner moves to No.4, where he will partner Francois Uys in the starting XV.

Armandt Koster will be providing cover on the bench.

Henco Venter will be starting in the No.8 jersey.

Tian Meyer and Shaun Venter swaps places - with Meyer at scrumhalf in the starting line-up.

Meyer will be running onto the field in his 50th Super Rugby match, of which 38 were for the Cheetahs.

Fred Zeilinga is back at flyhalf after recovering from injury, with Neil Marais providing cover on the bench.

William Small-Smith will be replacing the injured Nico Lee at inside centre.

"I still believe that the growth of this side is immense," Smith said of his team - as they look to end a six-match losing streak against one of the competition's form teams.

"To have a team play against the best every week is the only way to get better.

"We are a good team with ball in hand and we want to play best to our strengths."

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (captain), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Retshegofaditswe Nche.
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Niell Jordaan, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Niel Marais.

Date: Friday, May 5
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT; 05.00, Saturday, May 6 NZ time)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa)
TMO: Willie Vos (South Africa)

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Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 13h30 London
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