Johannesburg – Springbok lock Hilton Lobberts will get his first taste of Super Rugby in five years after being included on the Cheetahs bench for their away clash on Saturday against the Stormers, at Newlands in Cape Town.
The 27-year-old Lobberts, who played his last test match for the Springboks in 2007 against New Zealand in Christchurch and his last Super Rugby match for the Stormers in 2009, replaces Waltie Vermeulen on the bench for the trip to Cape Town.
Lobberts last week played an important role in Griquas obtaining their fifth Vodacom Cup title by beating the Golden Lions 30-6 in Kimberley.
“Hilton was always next in line for Super Rugby,” said Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske.
“We included Willem Serfontein in the run-on side for the injured Andries Ferreira, but now Hilton will also get a shot.”
The Cheetahs coach has not changed his starting 15 which beat the Brumbies last weekend in the Free State stadium in Bloemfontein, but has brought in another Griquas stalwart Tian Meyer on the bench as replacement scrumhalf.
He will be understudy for Shaun Venter, who starts ahead of the injured Sarel Pretorius. Meyer comes in at the expense of Renier Botha.
Winger and regular starter Raymond Rhule is still struggling with an ankle injury, which means flyhalf Riaan Smit, who is off to French club Oyonnax at the end of the Super Rugby competition, is retained on the bench.
Cheetahs side: Hennie Daniller, Cornal Hendricks, Johann Sadie, Rayno Benjamin, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Shaun Venter, Boom Prinsloo, Oupa Mohoje, Heinrich Brüssow, Francois Uys, Willem Serfontein, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen. Replacements: Torsten van Jaarsveld, Trevor Nyakane, Maks van Dyk, Hilton Lobberts, Carel Greeff, Tian Meyer, Elgar Watts, Riaan Smit. – Sapa