Bok boost for Cheetahs
Bok boost for CheetahsSHARE
Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen will make his comeback from injury via the Free State Cheetahs' bench.
Oosthuizen, who has been sidelined since he suffered a neck injury against England in June, will feature among the replacements when the Cheetahs travel to Pretoria on Saturday to take on the Blue Bulls in a Currie Cup crunch match.
Although he has worked hard to regain full fitness, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské has opted to play him off the bench.
However, given enough game time in the second half he may well convince Bok coach Heyneke Meyer he is ready for a recall to the national team ahead of the home leg of the Rugby Championship – when they face Australia in Pretoria (September 29) and New Zealand in Soweto a week later.
Drotské is planning to give him about 30 minutes in the second half.
The return of Oosthuizen comes in the wake of the neck injury that ruled prop Schalk van der Merwe out. Golden Lions import Ross Geldenhuys will start at tighthead.
Another international player returning to the Cheetahs team after injury is Sevens Bok Philip van der Walt, who has recovered from his foot injury and will wear the No.8 jersey.
Drotské also made a significant change in midfield, where South African Under-20 star Raymond Rhule moves from wing to outside centre – a position where he played most of his schools rugby and also starred for Free State at Under-21 level.
Former young Lions and Blue Bulls hooker AJ le Roux will provide cover on the bench in the absence of Bok No.2 Adriaan Strauss and the injured PW van Vuuren (also a neck injury).
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Raymond Rhule, 12 Robert Ebersohn (captain), 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Tewis de Bruyn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Carl Wegner, 19 Hendro Scholtz, 20 Sias Ebersohn, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Andries Strauss.
Date: Saturday, September 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Cobus Wessels
TMO: Shaun Veldsman