Preview: Cheetahs vs Chiefs – 15/04/2017

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Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith has named his team for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Chiefs in Bloemfontein.

Props Ox Nche and Johan Coetzee move from the bench to the starting line-up and Charles Marais and Tom Botha will be the front row replacements.

Carl Wegner and Francois Uys swap places with Wegner starting at lock and Uys on the bench.

Niel Marais will be starting at fly-half while Fred Zeilinga will be his back-up.

Nico Lee shifts from wing to centre and Sergeal Petersen will be starting in the number 14 jersey. Junior Pokomela or Luther Obi will be replacing Clinton Swart on the bench.

The Chiefs are determined to finish their South African tour on a winning note when they take on the Cheetahs this Saturday in Bloemfontein.

Co-captain Sam Cane is fully recovered from the concussion he sustained in his sides game against the Bulls two weeks ago and will start at openside flanker.

Cane is one of six changes to the starting XV which lost 34-26 to a challenging Stormers side last Saturday in Cape Town, their first defeat of the 2017 Super Rugby season.

In the forwards, Brayden Mitchell earns his first start for the Chiefs at hooker, while Taleni Seu is promoted from the bench to join Brodie Retallick in the second row. Mitchell Brown returns to the starting XV to wear the six jersey.

In the backs, Anton Lienert-Brown shifts to inside centre, with Sam McNicol making his first start for the season in jersey 13. Of note in the reserves is the inclusion of 20-year-old Tasman back Alex Nankivell.

The young midfielder made his Super Rugby debut against the Stormers last Saturday, after joining the 23 as a late replacement for his Tasman teammate Finlay Christie. Christie had to withdraw from the match due to illness, but is back to full health this week and ready to add impact off the bench in jersey 21.

Previous results: 

2015: Chiefs won 37-27 in Hamilton
2014: Teams drew 43-43 in Bloemfontein
2013: Chiefs won 45-3 in Hamilton
2012: Chiefs won 39-33 in Bloemfontein
2010: Teams drew 25-25 in Hamilton
2009: Chiefs won 28-10 in
2008: Chiefs won 22-20 in Hamilton
2007: Teams drew 22-22 in Bloemfontein

Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 Nico Lee, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Niel Marais, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Henco Venter, 7 Oupa Mohoje, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Carl Wegner, 4 Armandt Koster, 3 Johan Coetzee, 2 Torsten van Jaarsveld, 1 Ox Nche
Replacements: 16 Elandré Huggett, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Francois Uys, 20 Niell Jordaan, 21 Junior Pokomela / Luther Obi, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Fred Zeilinga

Chiefs: 15 Damian McKenzie, 14 Toni Pulu, 13 Sam McNicol, 12 Anton Lienert-Brown, 11 James Lowe, 10 Aaron Cruden (cc), 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Michael Leitch, 7 Sam Cane, 6 Mitchell Brown, 5 Brodie Retallick, 4 Taleni Seu, 3 Atu Moli, 2 Brayden Mitchell, 1 Kane Hames
Replacements: 16 Hika Elliot, 17 Siegfried Fisi’ihoi, 18 Sosefo Kautai, 19 Dominic Bird, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Finlay Christie, 22 Alex Nankivell, 23 Shaun Stevenson

Date: Saturday, April 15
Venue: Toyota Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 15:05 local (13:05 GMT)
Referee: Jaco van Heerden
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Lourens van der Merwe
TMO: Johan Greeff


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