Sunwolves boss Mark Hammett has shown confidence in his side by naming an unchanged starting XV to face the Cheetahs in Singapore.
The Japanese side lost 13-26 to the Lions in their first Super Rugby match in Tokyo two weeks ago.
Hammett has kept the faith with experienced hooker Shota Horie leading the side while replacements Takuma Asahara and Mifiposeti Paeaare the only changs to the matchday squaf.
These alterations to the bench mean that Koki Yamamoto and Hajime Yamashata are dropped from the matchday 23.
Cheetahs coach Franco Smith has made seven changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s clash with the Sunwolves in Singapore.
Amongst the backs, former Western Force pivot, Sias Ebersohn takes over from Clayton Blommetjies while Niel Marais is preferred to Fred Zeilinga at fly-half.
In the forwards, there’s a new front row with Ox Nche, Jacques du Toit and Johan Coetzee coming in for Charles Marais, Torsten van Jaarsveld and Maks van Dyk respectively.
With Springbok lock Lood de Jager being rested for this match, former skipper Francois Uys returns to the run-on side to join Cark Wegner in the second row.
The final change sees Henco Venter taking over from Neill Jordaan at number eight.
HEAD TO HEAD
This is the teams’ first meeting.
STATS AND FACTS
– The Sunwolves’ first and only previous match in Super Rugby was a 26-13 loss to the Lions in round one.
– The Cheetahs have won only one of their last eight matches against teams from outside South Africa.
– The Cheetahs ended their 2015 campaign with an away win against the Bulls and will now be looking to score back-to-back away wins for the first time since round 15 in 2013.
– The Cheetahs have scored all five of their tries so far this season in the first half, no team has managed to cross the line m
Sunwolves: 15 Riaan Viljoen, 14 Akihito Yamada, 13 Harumichi Tatekawa, 12 Yu Tamura, 11 Yasutaka Sasakura, 10 Tusi Pisi, 9 Atsushi Hiwasa, 8 Edward Quirk, 7 Andrew Durutalo, 6 Liaki Moli, 5 Hitoshi Ono, 4 Timothy Vond, 3 Shinnosuke Kakinaga, 2 Shota Horie (c), 1 Keith Inagaki.
Replacements: 16.Takeshi Kizu,17. Masataka Mikami,18. Takuma Asahara , 19.Shinya Makabe, 20.Yoshiya Hosoda, 21, Kaito Shigeno, 22 Derek Carpenter, 23. Mifiposeti Paea
Cheetahs: 15 Sias Ebersohn, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter, 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Jacques du Toit, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Maks van Dyk, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Hilton Lobberts, 21 Boom Prinsloo, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga
Date: Saturday, March 12
Venue: Singapore National Stadium
Kick-off: 18:50 local (10:50 GMT)
Referee: Quinton Immelman
Assistant Referees: Shuhei Kubo, Aki Aso
TMO: Takashi Hareda