Oosthuizen injury blow for Cheetahs

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iol spt mar6 Coenie Steve Haag Gallo Images The Cheetahs will be without Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen against the Reds in Brisbane and possibly for the rest of the season. Picture: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

Bloemfontein – The Cheetahs will be without Springbok prop Coenie Oosthuizen against the Reds in Brisbane and possibly for the rest of the season.

He will be sidelined for up to eight weeks with a neck injury and will no longer play a part his team's overseas leg of the Super Rugby competition.

Oosthuizen underwent a scan in Brisbane on Tuesday and was sent home immediately to recover.

His place in the starting line up has been taken by new recruit Nicolaas van Dyk, currently contracted at Griquas.

Coach Naka Drotské has opted to give Van Dyk a start despite having a more experienced replacement in Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane, who will be on the bench.

“Losing Coenie is a big setback for us. He has been a crucial part of the team and will be sorely missed,” Drotské said.

“This is a good time for Nicolaas to prove his worth. He is regarded as Coenie's understudy when it comes to tight head prop.”

Van Dyk impressed in pre-season training and has experience as a former Junior Springbok.

The Cheetahs have also called up Rossouw de Klerk, who was set to play for the Free State in this weekend's opening Vodacom Cup game against the SWD Eagles. He has been included on the replacement bench alongside Nyakane.

In other changes, veteran full back Hennie Daniller has also been named in the starting line up, with Springbok Willie le Roux moves to wing in place of the injured Raymond Rhule. Winger Cornal Hendricks has dropped to the bench, with Rayno Benjamin replacing him in the run on side.

The Cheetahs team: Hennie Daniller, Rayno Benjamin, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Willie le Roux, Johan Goosen, Shaun Venter, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Nicolaas van Dyk, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen.

Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Rossouw de Klerk, Ligtoring Landman, Jean Cook, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Cornal Hendricks. – Sapa

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