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Cheetahs tweak their team to face the Leopards

───   MORGAN PIEK 07:21 Fri, 29 Mar 2024

Cheetahs tweak their team to face the Leopards | News Article
Munier Hartzenberg - Morgan Piek

“It's been a tough couple of weeks just trying to get two squads together. You can plan and prepare as much as you can - then life happens, rugby happens. You have to adapt and find another way.”

The Toyota Cheetahs have made several changes to their side for Saturday's SA Cup game against the Leopards in Potchefstroom.

The Cheetahs are planning to head to France on Tuesday for their EPCR Challenge Cup game against Clermont in the round of 16, while they also have a game at home against the Pumas.

The squad for this week sees many of their first-choice players back, while there are those who are also being rested for the big one against the French Top14 team.

The backline sees Tapiwa Mafura returning from injury, Reinhardt Fortuin from international duty and Munier Hartzenberg from suspension.

Hartzenberg will however be given a run at outside centre for the game, while he normally plays on the wing. This was necessitated as Ali Mgijima is injured and Evardi Boshoff is still in Wales.

Upfront, Victor Sekekete, is back from Wales to captain the team while Hencus van Wyk will start at tighthead prop. Andisa Ntsila also earns a rare start while Friedle Olivier rotates to the bench.

The 18-year-old scrumhalf, Christiaan van der Westhuizen, will make his official debut from the bench. The seasoned Ruan Pienaar is not being risked for this game.

The Cheetahs coach, Izak van der Westhuizen, told OFM Sport that injuries are part of the game, but they have enough quality to cover various roles.

“It's been a tough couple of weeks just trying to get two squads together, " said Van der Westhuizen.

“You can plan and prepare as much as you can - then life happens, rugby happens. Then you have to adapt and find another way.

“It makes things a little bit more difficult, but there are enough quality players to step in.”

Saturday's match at Olën Park kicks off at 15:00.

Leopards - 15 André Grobler, 14 Sino Tshontyi, 13 Werner Schoeman, 12 Tjaart Bernarde, 11 Gilroy Philander, 10 Marius Viviers, 9 Shirwin Cupido, 8 Buhle Qaba, 7 Kwezi Mafu (captain), 6 Francois Bezuidenhout, 5 Mncedisi Dlwengu, 4 Azola Mati, 3 Kowie Roos, 2 Jordan Mcloughlin, 1 Ruben du Plessis

Replacements - 16 Cohen Wortley, 17 JP Mans, 18 Haitembu Shikufa, 19 Wian Nel, 20 HP Swart, 21 Sanele Zungu, 22 Luke Cyster, 23 Francois Weideman.

Cheetahs - 15 Tapiwa Mafura, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Munier Hartzenberg, 12 Reinhardt Fortuin, 11 Siba Xamlashe, 10 George Lourens, 9 Rewan Kruger, 8 Andisa Ntsila, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Gideon van der Merwe, 5 Victor Sekekete, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Hencus van Wyk, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Schalk Ferreira

Replacements - 16 Chucky van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson 18 Laurence Victor, 19 Mzwanele Zito, 20 Friedle Olivier, 21 Christiaan van der Westhuizen, 22 Andell Loubser, 23 Litha Nkula

Morgan Piek OFM Sport

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