Bloemfontein – Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has selected all his available Springboks for his side’s Super Rugby clash against the Sharks at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
“We do have a system in place where our returning Springboks are promoted to the starting line-up if they are fit and free of any injuries,” Drotske said on Wednesday.
“That is the reason for the inclusion of someone like Trevor Nyakane above Caylib Oosthuizen. The whole season there has been very little to choose from between Trevor and Caylib and both of them will most likely play about 40 minutes against the Sharks.”
Returning to the franchise after being involved in the incoming tour Tests against Wales and Scotland, Nyakane, Adriaan Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Lood de Jager, Teboho Mohoje, Johan Goosen, Cornal Hendricks and Willie le Roux were all named in the run-on side.
Their return would be a boost for the home side, who have had to make do without injured stalwarts Boom Prinsloo and Heinrich Brussow.
“We are also glad to have Coenie Oosthuizen in the starting line up. The injury he sustained in the final Test looked worse than it really was. We sent him for X-rays and luckily nothing is broken so he will definitely play.”
Although there was not much for the Cheetahs to salvage from this year’s competition, apart from pride, the Cheetahs were aiming to give a stellar performance and put pressure on the visitors.
“It’s a home game for us, therefore, it is very important for us to get a victory over the Sharks,” Drotske said.
“I think all the pressure is on them though. They are still in the running for the title and, if they want to host a home semi-final, they need to win their next couple of games. In South African derbies anything can happen and we look forward to the game.
“Of course the couple of weeks off have been disruptive in the sense that we couldn’t train because of the absence of our Springbok players. The last couple of weeks we’ve just looked at player fitness and that sort of thing. Since Monday we have been going at it non-stop as had the Boks back in our structures.”
Cheetahs team: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks, Johann Sadie, Ryno Benjamin, Raymond Rhule, Johan Goosen, Sarel Pretorius, Philip van der Walt, Teboho Mohoje, Torsten van Jaarsveld, Francois Uys, Look de Jager, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane.
Replacements: Caylib Oosthuizen, Luan de Bruin, Carl Wegner, Jean Cook, Henco Venter, Shaun Venter, Elgar Watts, Hennie Daniller. – Sapa