Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie has made five changes to the starting lineup to face Connacht in his first official game in charge of the Bloemfontein side.
The Conference A leaders, who are currently unbeaten in the competition after three convincing home wins over Glasgow Warriors, Munster and Ulster, will look to continue their winning momentum when they run out in Galway on Saturday evening.
After returning from World Cup duty with Namibia, tighthead prop Aranos Coetzee has been selected to start ahead of Luan de Bruin, who drops to the bench. Jasper Wiese starts at eighthman in place of Henco Venter who left to join Sharks.
In the backline, Dries Swanepoel makes his return from injury at outside centre with Benhard Janse van Rensburg his midfield partner. Clayton Blommetjies starts at right wing with William Small-Smith set to provide cover from the bench.
Wilmar Arnoldi and George Whitehead, who both featured for the Griquas during the Currie Cup, will be making their Guinness PRO14 debuts should they come off the bench.
Kick-off is at 6:15pm SA time.
Cheetahs – 15 Rhyno Smith, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Dries Swanepoel, 12 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (c), 8 Jasper Wiese, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Wilmar Arnoldi, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 George Whitehead, 23 William Small-Smith.
Meanwhile, Sibusiso Sithole and Bobby de Wee will start for the Southern Kings when they take on Benetton Rugby in Treviso on Saturday.
Sithole, who was on the bench for all three of the Kings’ home matches at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium, will make his first start of the season at outside centre alongside Tertius Kruger in the midfield. Sithole replaces JT Jackson with the latter rested for the Kings’ first tour match of the season.
De Wee replaces Jerry Sexton for his second start of the season, having provided cover at blindside flank as well as in the second row.
Having joined from the Kings’ SA rivals the Cheetahs at the beginning of the season, hooker Jacques du Toit will earn a first starting berth in a rotational switch with Alandre van Rooyen. The rest of the forwards pack remains the same, with squad captain JC Astle again set to feature from the bench.
In the backs, Josh Allderman will start at scrumhalf following the injury to vice-captain, Stefan Ungerer in the loss against Ulster Rugby a fortnight ago. Christopher Hollis will start on the right wing in place of the injured Courtney Winnaar.
Thembelani Bholi will also make his first Guinness PRO14 appearance from the bench, after his return to the Port Elizabeth-based side.
Kings – 15 Masixole Banda, 14 Christopher Hollis, 13 Sibusiso Sithole, 12 Tertius Kruger, 11 Josiah Twum-Boafo, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Josh Allderman, 8 Ruaan Lerm, 7 Tienie Burger, 6 Lusanda Badiyana (c), 5 Aston Fortuin, 4 Bobby de Wee, 3 Pieter Scholtz, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Juan Schoeman.
Subs: 16 Alandre van Rooyen, 17 Xandre Vos, 18 Rossouw de Klerk, 19 JC Astle, 20 Thembelani Bholi, 21 Erigh Louw, 22 Siya Masuku, 23 Erich Cronje.
Photo: Gallo Images