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Johannesburg - With Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen on his way home following a torn cruciate ligament, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has included Riaan Smit in the number 10 jersey for his side's final Super Rugby game abroad against the Western Force in Perth on Saturday.
The Cheetahs are looking for a third victory overseas, and Drotske has chosen not to tamper too much with his side that claimed the scalps of the Highlanders and Waratahs.
“To lose Johan to injury is a major blow, but this is the perfect time for Riaan Smit to prove his worth,” Drotske said after naming his team on Wednesday.
Springbok flanker Heinrich Brussow makes his first Super Rugby start after returning from injury, coming in for the injured Frans Viljoen who is also on his way back to South Africa.
Drotske has decided to leave his front row as is, with Bok prop Coenie Oosthuizen being used as an impact player.
Griquas flyhalf Burton Francis has been included on the replacement bench for the first time after he joined the Cheetahs two weeks ago.
Cheetahs team: Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux, Johan Sadie, Robert Ebersohn, Raymond Rhule, Riaan Smit, Sarel Pretorius, Phillip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Heinrich Brüssow, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Trevor Nyakane. Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Coenie Oosthuisen, Rynhard Landman, Boom Prinsloo, Piet van Zyl, Burton Francis, Ryno Benjamin.