Cheetahs interim coach Franco Smith has named his first Pro14 side. .Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – The Cheetahs have named their team to face the Glasgow Warriors in their opening Pro14 match of the season at Toyota Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday.

The match starts at 7.05pm.

The Cheetahs won their last two games of the 2018/19 campaign beating Dragons and Southern Kings at Toyota Stadium and their only defeat in their last five home games was to Ospreys in round 19 last season.

Glasgow were last year’s losing finalist.

The two sides have met on four previous occasions in Pro14 action, with the visitors victorious in each instance.

“We’ve done well in Currie Cup and enjoyed the moment but the mentality among the players is that we still have to keep working hard. Glasgow Warriors is very task driven. We have to keep the momentum and we will be well prepared for this competition. We are not underestimating what is coming,” said Cheetahs interim coach Franco Smith.

Cheetahs player Tian Meyer was optimistic about his side’s chances.

“The good thing is that we start at home,” said Meyer. “There will be very tough opposition coming for us in the next three weeks and we have to be up for the challenge. I believe, and have all the confidence in the team, that we can bring home the victories and put up the log points. The attitude in the team is to stick together and keep working hard for the player next to you.”

The Cheetahs will be moving into a ‘new direction’ with regards to captaincy. Continuing from the Currie Cup campaign, the leader of the players, on and off the field is Meyer.

In order to manage the player’s game time, there will also be an on-field captain, who can change from time to time. The on-field captain for the game against Glasgow Warriors will be Ruan Pienaar.

The Cheetahs team is: 

15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Replacements: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Louis Fouche. 

African News Agency (ANA)