Every year we play the Kings it’s a big game, said Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer (left). Photo: Frikkie Kapp/BackpagePix

BLOEMFONTEIN – The Toyota Cheetahs and Isuzu Southern Kings teams will face off in Port Elizabeth at Madibaz Stadium in  Friday night’s Pro14 clash.

“It’s always going to be a big clash because it’s a derby. Every year we play the Kings it’s a big game. The team is ready for the fight, which is why we are preparing to put out our best performance,” said Cheetahs captain Tian Meyer.

The Free Staters are fresh off a morale-boosting 27-12 victory against Zebre Rugby Club in Italy and this is expected to boost their confidence going into the clash.

The Toyota Cheetahs have been superior on attack and defence this season, with the Bloemfontein outfit having scored 36 tries and conceding 44.

The try-scoring machine, Rabz Maxwane, who is the top try-scorer in the competition with eight tries, will be a valuable asset for the team on Friday evening.

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Coach Franco Smith has announced his team for the derby with no changes to the starting line-up. Scrumhalf, Shaun Venter will be replacing Rudy Paige on the bench.

Nico Lee will be earning his 50th cap for the Toyota Cheetahs. The 24-year-old centre represented the Toyota Cheetahs in 14 Super Rugby matches, 11 Currie Cup games (including the Currie Cup final in 2016) and 24 Guinness PRO14 matches and is a proud product of the Toyota Cheetah Academy.

The Cheetahs team is: 

15 Malcolm Jaer, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Nico Lee, 11 Rabs Maxwane, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Tian Meyer (captain), 8 Danie Maartens, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 JP du Preez, 4 Justin Basson, 3 Aranos Coetzee, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche

Substitutes: 16 Marnus van der Merwe/Reinach Venter, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 Sintu Manjezi, 20 Walt Steenkamp, 21 Abongile Nonkontwana, 22 Shaun Venter, 23 Louis Fouche  

African News Agency (ANA)

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