Cheetahs coach Naka Drotskè is facing a possible second row crisis, as both his preferred starting locks are unavailable to start the season. Martin Muller who missed most of 2012, has injured his groin, and will be out for at least 3 months. That effectively rules him out for the bulk of the tournament. Andries Ferreira is still recovering from his knee injury, and will miss the opening match versus the Sharks, as well as the initial overseas leg.
This leaves coach Naka Drotskè with no option than to form a new locking combination. Currently the Cheetahs only have Ligtoring Landman, Francois Uys, Waltie Vermeulen, and the young Lood de Jager available to play lock. All four will be in the team for Saturday’s warm up match versus the Lions.
Toyota Cheetahs Team versus Lions:
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 JP Nel, 12 Robert Ebersohn (Captain), 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Tertius Daniller, 6 Marnus
Schoeman, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Rossouw de Klerk, 2 Torsten van
Jaarsveld, 1 Caylib Oosthuizen.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Ligtoring Landman, 19 Waltie Vermeulen, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Barry Geel, 22 Hansie Graaff.
It will be interesting to see how young Lood de Jager shapes, as he is relatively unknown. Another noteworthy shift is that of Robert Ebersohn who is shifting back to inside centre, where he played at school level. Other players who will be keen to make their mark are Hansie Graaff, and Torsten van Jaarsveld.