However the big surprise is that coach Naka Drotske has asked Bok prop Coenie Oosthuizen to shift to loosehead prop, a position he hasn’t played much since school level. The decision was made so that they could start all three Boks side by side in the front row in an attempt to outmuscle the Blue Bulls.
Other changes include:
– Adriaan Strauss takes over the captaincy
– Boom Prinsloo shifts from No.8 – open side flank
– Philip Van der Walt returns to no.8
– Teboho Mohoje drops to the bench
– Blitzbok Rayno Benjamin replaces Piet Lindeque at right wing
The Cheetahs who lie in 3rd place need a win to secure their spot or a bonus point to book their spot in the semis by way of fourth place.
Cheetahs vs Blue Bulls, Bloemfontein, Saturday, KO 17:05 CAT (16:05 BST)
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Rayno Benjamin, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Elgar Watts, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagné, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Lodewyk de Jager, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Coenie Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Schalk van der Merwe, 18 Freddie Ngoza, 19 Teboho Mohoje, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Piet Lindeque, 22 Willie du Plessis.