Marais at 10 for Cheetahs

Former Shimlas star Niel Marais will start at flyhalf for the Free State Cheetahs' clash against the Blue Bulls in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith, who guided Shimlas to this year's Varsity Cup title, backed Marais to start in the last two games of the Vodacom Super Rugby season.

Although former Sharks pivot Fred Zeilinga has now joined the Cheetahs, he will play off the bench, with Marais retaining the No 10 jersey.

Francois Uys will retain the captaincy for the Currie Cup and will start at No 5. Willem Serfontein, older brother of Springbok centre Jan, starts at No 4 lock. 

In the backline, Coenie van Wyk has been named at fullback, with Clayton Blommetjies and Raymond Rhule as the wings, and Francois Venter and Rayno Benjamin in midfield.

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Coenie van Wyk, 14 Clayton Blommetjies, 13 Francois Venter, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Gerhard Olivier, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Boom Prinsloo, 5 Francois Uys (c), 4 Willem Serfontein, 3 Luan de Bruin, 2 Neil Rautenbach, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Maks van Dyk, 18 BG Uys, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Tienie Burger, 21 Zee Mkhabela, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Photo: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams