Marais at 10 for Cheetahs

Niel Marais will start at flyhalf in one of three backline changes to the Cheetahs team for Thursday's match against the Lions in Bloemfontein.

Coach Franco Smith has selected an unchanged pack, but has altered his backline, with Fred Zeilinga moving to the bench and Marais earning a start.

The other changes see centre William Small-Smith trading places with Michael van der Spuy, who drops out of the match 22 altogether, and scrumhalf Shaun Venter taking over from Tian Meyer.

Hooker Torsten van Jaarsveld will captain the side in Meyer's absence.

Free State Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Nico Lee, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld (c), 1 Ox Nche.
Subs: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Armandt Koster, 19 Tienie Burger, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Fred Zeilinga.

Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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