at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg – Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussow’s impressive return to Super Rugby last weekend has earned him a place in the starting line-up in his side’s all-important match against the Stormers at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Brussow was one of few stand-out players for the Cheetahs against the Sharks in Durban, after returning from a lengthy toe injury and an overseas stint last year in Japan.
“Heinrich Brussow showed against the Sharks what a quality player he is. He has a distinct influence on the game, there is no doubt about that,” Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske said.
“He has recovered from an injury that saw him play his last game in November last year in Japan and he came back with a bang.”
The Stormers will no doubt field their own experienced poacher in Deon Fourie and the battle between him and Brussow for turnover possession has been one of the talking points in the build up to the game.
Announcing his team on Wednesday, Drotske, who still has a high regard for the effect a fetcher has on the game, decided to include Vodacom Cup player Torsten van Jaarsveld on the bench. Yet to play Super Rugby, Van Jaarsveld would be Brussow’s understudy.
“Torsten has been playing very well at Vodacom Cup level and deserves a chance,” Drotske said.
“His inclusion also comes because we’ve been unlucky to lose a couple of our loose forwards in our previous games and we had to play a hooker in the flanker position.”
In the only two changes to the run on side, Drotske brought in Andries Ferreira at lock for the injured Lodewyk de Jager (finger), while Springbok winger Raymond Rhule gets a run instead of Cornal Hendricks.
“Cornal has played well for us the last couple of weeks, but Raymond will be fresh after recovering from the injury he sustained on our overseas tour.
“Cornal hasn’t been dropped, we’ve communicated that to him. We want to see if Raymond can produce a physical performance and then later bring Cornal onto the field when it opens up a bit. He will definitely feature in the second half.”
In the only other change on the replacement bench, Waltie Vermeulen comes in at lock to provide depth in the absence of De Jager and Ligtoring Landman (groin).
Flyhalf Riaan Smit has also retained his place on the bench as Elgar Watts’s understudy after Springbok fly half Johan Goosen failed to pass a fitness test (concussion).
“The reason for Waltie’s inclusion on the bench is purely because both de Jager and Landman are injured.
“This is a test of our depth at lock and Waltie is the next guy in line to cover us in that position.
“He played on a regular basis for us a couple of years ago and is more than apt when it comes to line-outs.”
The Cheetahs team: Hennie Daniller, Raymond Rhule, Johann Sadie, Rayno Benjamin, Willie le Roux, Elgar Watts, Sarel Pretorius, Boom Prinsloo, Jean Cook, Heinrich Brussow, Francois Uys, Andries Ferreira, Maks van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Trevor Nyakane, Rossouw de Klerk, Waltie Vermeulen, Teboho Mohoje, Shaun Venter, Riaan Smit, Cornal Hendricks. – Sapa