New halfback-axis for Cheetahs

Fred Zeilinga and Tian Meyer will start as two of five changes to the Cheetahs' startling lineup for Friday's match against the Highlanders in Bloemfontein.

Zeilinga and Meyer replace Niel Marais and Shaun Venter, who both drop to the bench. The only other swap in the backline is injury-enforced, as William Small-Smith comes in for Nico Lee, who is out for six weeks due to a grade-two ankle injury.

In the pack, Henco Venter earns a start at No 8, with Paul Schoeman shifting to flank and Uzair Cassiem moving to the bench. Lock Francois Uys comes back into the run-on XV ahead of Armandt Koster.

Cheetahs – 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Tian Meyer, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche.

Subs: 16 Elandre Huggett,17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Armandt Koster, 20 Uzair Cassiem, 21 Niell Jordaan, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Niel Marais.

Super Rugby teams (Round 11)

Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams