Cheetahs flyhalf Johan Goosen will be aiming for a convincing display against the Force in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Goosen missed his side's win against the Stormers because of concussion, but came off the bench early in the second half against the Bulls at Loftus last weekend.
The 21-year-old has not been at his best this season and there are some who feel he is a bit fortunate to have regained the No 10 jersey from Elgar Watts. But from a Bok perspective, it's important that Goosen gets as much game time as possible ahead of the June Tests and hopefully he will grow in confidence and make a real claim for a starting position in the Test side. Goosen's direct opponent on Saturday will be former Cheetah Sias Ebersohn, who has played a big part in the Force's most successful Super Rugby season ever, and their head to head clash will be fascinating to watch.
In other changes to the Cheetahs starting XV, Coenie Oosthuizen is back at No 3 having made his return from injury off the bench last weekend, while Teboho Mohoje will get his first start on the blindside flank in place of the injured Jean Cook. Raymond Rhule, who is suffering from an ankle knock, has been bracked with Cornal Hendricks on the right wing. The Force have named an unchanged team.
The Cheetahs have won their last three games against the Force, after losing the previous four. Interestingly, the Force have conceded fewer turnovers per game than any other Super Rugby outfit this season (12.8), but they have not yet come up against Heinrich Brüssow, who's made such an impact at the breakdown upon his return from injury.
HEAD TO HEAD
Overall: Cheetahs* 3, Force 3, Draw 1
In Bloemfontein: Cheetahs* 2, Force 1, Draw 1
* Includes Cats
GOOSEN'S STATS THAT MATTER
75 – His goal-kicking percentage in Super Rugby this year (33 out of 44)
88 – The number of points he has scored this season (14 conversions, 19 penalties and a drop goal)
31 – The number of minutes he got off the bench against the Bulls at Loftus last weekend, upon his return from concussion
Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Raymond Rhule/Cornal Hendricks, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Willie le Roux, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Carel Greeff, 20 Waltie Vermeulen, 21 Shaun Venter, 22 Elgar Watts, 23 Cornal Hendricks/Howard Mnisi.
Force – 15 Jayden Hayward, 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Marcel Brache, 12 Kyle Godwin, 11 Nick Cummins, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Ian Prior, 8 Ben McCalman, 7 Matt Hodgson (c), 6 Angus Cottrell, 5 Sam Wykes, 4 Adam Coleman, 3 Kieran Longbottom, 2 Nathan Charles, 1 Pek Cowan.
Subs: 16 Heath Tessmann, 17 Tetera Faulkner, 18 Ollie Hoskins, 19 Wilhelm Steenkamp, 20 Brynard Stander, 21 Justin Turner, 22 Zack Holmes, 23 Chris Tuatara-Morrison.
Photo: Charle Lomabard/Gallo Images