RugbySteyn and Pienaar start against Griquas
─── MORGAN PIEK 10:30 Thu, 13 Jan 2022
The Springbok duo of Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn will both be back in action for the Toyota Cheetahs on Saturday when they host the Tafel Lager Griquas in Bloemfontein in round one of the 2022 Currie Cup.
Both players have been named in the starting XV by the coach Hawies Fourie after neither has represented the Free State in quite some time. Steyn was on international duty with the Springboks for the majority of 2021, while Pienaar in his turn was at the Sharks on the loan deal in the United Rugby Championship.
Pienaar has also been named as the captain of the side again after the loose-forward Aidon Davis held the leadership role during the Toyota Challenge in November last year.
The side also welcomes back the stalwart fullback, Clayton Blommetjies, who underwent surgery to his ankle, and he will once again don the number 15 jersey.
Craig Barry and Enver Brandt will play on the wing, and for Brandt it will be a Currie Cup debut against his former team.
Steyn slots in at inside centre with the young and the exciting David Brits on his outside.
In an interesting move, Chris Smit will play at flyhalf. He played in the pivot role a week ago when he came onto the park in the warm-up again against the very same Griquas in Bloemfontein.
The pack sees Mihlali Mosi start at the back of the scrum with Davis and the hard-working Gideon van der Merwe at flank.
Victor Sekekete and Rynier Bernardo will lock the second-row, with Marne Coetzee, Marnus van der Merwe and the seasoned Schalk Ferreira being named in the front-row.
Gideon van der Merwe and Coetzee will also be their Currie Cup debuts for the Cheetahs, while Sergio Moreira will also be on debut off the bench.
Saturday's central derby at the Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein will kick off at 14:30 and will be officiated by Jaco Peyper. Griffin Colby and Clearance Khumalo will run the touchlines.
Toyota Cheetahs - 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Craig Barry, 13 David Brits, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Enver Brandt, 10 Chris Smit, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Mihlali Mosi, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Rynier Bernardo, 3 Marne Coetzee, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira.
Replacements - 16 Chucky van der Westhuizen, 17 Alulutho Tshakweni, 18 Beertjie van Vuuren, 19 Sergio Moreira, 20 Andisa Ntsila, 21 Rewan Kruger, 22 Robert Ebersohn, 23 Malcolm Jaer.
Griquas - TBC
Morgan Piek/OFM Sport