Venter locks up Cheetahs scrum
Venter locks up Cheetahs scrumSHARE
The Free State Cheetahs have opted to look internally to solve their second row crisis.
Young loose forward Henco Venter will start at lock in the only change to the Cheetahs team to face Griquas in a Currie Cup Round Four match in Kimberley on Saturday.
Waltie Vermeulen will come onto the replacement bench in the place vacated by the promotion of Venter to the starting XV.
This comes in the wake of the latest second row injury setback, which could see Carl Wegner (shoulder) ruled out for the rest of the season.
Although he is mainly a loose forward, Venter has the bulk to do the job – just like University of the Free State (Shimlas) teammate and new Springbok Teboho Mohojé, who started playing in the second row after being called up for provincial duty.
Venter will join players like prop Caylib Oosthuizen (shoulder), flank Pieter Labuschagné (groin), prop Coenie Oosthuizen (foot), flyhalf Elgar Watts (knee), prop Luan de Bruin (concussion) and No.8 Johannes Prinsloo (groin) on the Cheetahs' extensive injury list.
Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan said he had done more than enough to be included in the starting XV in Kimberley.
"Henco played very well [coming off the bench] against the Sharks [last week]," Duncan said.
"He made use of his opportunity and gets another go," he added.
"We are lucky that we have someone like Waltie Vermeulen on the bench to give us some much-needed depth. We may have to look elsewhere though to give ourselves some insurance in the lock department."
The Cheetahs currently lie fifth in the eight-team Currie Cup log, while their neighbours are winless after three matches – down in seventh position.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Jean Cook, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Henco Venter, 3 Dolph Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), 1 Kevin Stevens.
Replacements: 16 AJ Le Roux, 17 George Marich, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 JP du Plessis
Date: Saturday, August 30
Venue: GWK Park, Kimberley
Kick-off: 15.00 (13.00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Francois de Bruin
TMO: JJ Wagner