• Cheetahs overhaul backline

    The Free State Cheetahs have made nine changes to their side for their match against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

    Coach Rory Duncan has decided to ring the changes, with scrumhalf Sarel Pretorius the only player in the backline to retain his place, following their 31-17 defeat to the Pumas last weekend.

    Outside of him Willie du Plessis replaces Pieter-Steyn de Wet, who drops to the bench. In the midfield, Francois Venter shifts from inside to outside centre, with Joubert Engelbrecht lining up next to him.

    Rayno Benjamin will take over the fullback role in the absence of Clayton Blommetjies who has been ruled out with a knee injury, while Maphutha Dolo comes in on the right wing. JP du Plessis completes the back three after moving to the left wing in place of Raymond Rhule, who is suffering with a neck injury.

    In the forwards, Lappies Labuschagne replaces Jean Cook who misses out due to a calf injury, while George Marich and Caylib Oosthuizen will take their places in the front row.

    FS Cheetahs – 15 Rayno Benjamin, 14 Maphutha Dolo, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Joubert Engelbrecht, 11 JP du Plessis, 10 Willie du Plessis, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Lappies Labuschagne, 7 Neil Claassen, 6 Tienie Burger, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Henco Venter, 3 George Marich, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
    Subs: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Dolph Botha, 18 Werner Lourens, 19 Vincent Jobo, 20 Shaun Venter, 21 Pieter-Steyn de Wet, 22 AJ Coertzen.

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    Photo: Louis Botha/Gallo Images