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Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

Trevor Nyakane

Trevor Nyakane

Teboho Mahoje

Teboho Mahoje

Coenie Oosthuizen

Coenie Oosthuizen

The Springbok starting team to face Italy in Padova on Saturday shows four changes from the side which beat England at Twickenham last week, with three new faces amongst the pack and one in the backline.

There are also five changes on the bench, with Nizaam Carr and Julian Redelinghuys included in a Test match-23 for the first time.

Trevor Nyakane will start his first Test for South Africa at loosehead prop, while Coenie Oosthuizen moves up from the bench to replace the injured Jannie du Plessis at tighthead. Teboho ‘Oupa’ Mohoje returns to the starting line-up while Johan Goosen has been selected at fullback.

Joining Carr and Redelinghuys on the bench, are Gurthrö Steenkamp, Lood de Jager and Willie le Roux. Tendai Mtawarira has been given a break after carrying a heavy workload recently.

“I’m excited to see what these guys can do on Saturday in what will be a stern Test against a fired-up Italy,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

“We planned to make a few shifts for this Test as I’d like to see if these players can make the step up. The guys coming in deserve their opportunities and seeing that we won’t have our overseas-based players available next week against Wales, it made sense to bring a few of them in this week.”

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Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen is ready to emerge from obscurity and stake a claim to be once again a regular member of the Springbok squad.

Goosen, who has struggled to regain the form that saw him play four Tests in his debut year as a Bok in 2012, is on standby to take over at fullback from Willie le Roux against Italy in Padova on Saturday.

Le Roux, who injured his cheekbone against England at the weekend, remains on the team’s ‘doubtful list – despite scans clearing him from any fractures.

“We’ll manage Willie during training this week, but he should be available to face Italy,” team doctor Craig Roberts said.

Even with the positive news on the instinctive Le Roux, Goosen’s name has been penciled in to wear the No 15 jersey.

Springbok assistant coach Ricardo Loubscher confirmed that Goosen is an option, should Le Roux be ruled out or ‘rested’ from the third Test on South Africa’s four-match year-end tour.

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Rory Kockott

France call-up near: Rory Kockott

Rory Kockott’s wait for a taste of international rugby appears to be over as he meets with Philippe Saint-André this week.

The South African-born scrum-half looks certain to be part of the French squad for the November Tests according to the Midi Olympique, with Saint-André preparing to announce an initial squad on September 21 for a training camp.

Kockott became eligible for Les Bleus in July, and having been overlooked by Heyneke Meyer for the Rugby Championship, despite a scrum-half crisis, the Castres star seems to have settled on playing for France.

He will meet Saint-André this week, with the French coach eager to increase the competition on current scrum-halves Maxime Machenaud and Morgan Parra.

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Johan Goosen

Johan Goosen

Flyhalf Johan Goosen said he has come to France to adapt his game and hopes it will help him earn a Rugby World Cup spot with the Springboks next year.

Former Cheetah, Goosen, 22, has played five times for South Africa, but made the radical decision to up sticks and move to Racing-Metro to help improve his kicking game.

He went with the blessings of Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer after an injury-ravaged start to his career that has seen him spend more time on the treatment table – he has undergone three knee operations and one each on his shoulder and arm – than the pitch.

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Adriaan Strauss

Adriaan Strauss

Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss lauded his team’s efforts in their 27-20 victory over the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

“Everyone, including the guys coming off the bench, had a good game,” said Strauss after the match.

“They really put up their hands and played for one another.

“A lot of the guys leave at the end of the season and we wanted to give them a good farewell at our home ground.

“I think we achieved that. Next we face the Lions away and we will be looking for another good performance to round things off.”

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CheetahsConsidering the amount of Toyota Cheetahs that are leaving for greener pastures, Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cell C Sharks may be the last time that their fans may see them in their orange and white strip before joining new teams.

And since it is their last home Super Rugby game of the season, coach Naka Drotske has included all his stars for the clash to try and score a win against in the local derby.

No less than eight Springboks are back in action for the team after spending the last month with the Springboks and Trevor Nyakane, captain Adriaan Strauss, prop Coenie Oosthuizen, lock Lood de Jager, utility forward Teboho Mohoke, flyhalf Johan Goosen, wing Cornal Hendricks and fullback Willie le Roux all return to the side for the clash.

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Heinrich Brussow

Heinrich Brussow

CheetahsThe Cheetahs will not able to call on the services of Heinrich Brüssow for their Super Rugby clash against the Sharks in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

Coach Naka Drotské said that the loose forward is still struggling with a groin injury and won’t be risked for the game.

Philip van der Walt (hand) and Jean Cook (shoulder) are ready for action again, while Oupa Mohoje has also returned from the Springboks.

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Lood de Jager

Lood de Jager

Handré Pollard

Handré Pollard

As the announcement of the Springbok squad is awaited on Wednesday, speculation as to the possible composition of the side is gathering momentum.

At this stage it would appear that Johan Goosen is not over his injury worries and that Handré Pollard would leapfrog into the starting berth at flyhalf.

At lock Lood de Jager should get the nod and a 1st start at No 4 lock, in the absense of Flip van der Merwe, who is out with a longer term injury.

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Marnitz Boshoff

Marnitz Boshoff

South AfricaThe win his Junior Springbok team scored in Sunday’s exciting age-group semifinal in New Zealand may have prevented Handre Pollard from making his senior debut much quicker than he may have anticipated.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has made no secret of how highly he regards Pollard and has indicated that the Bulls pivot is definitely under consideration for next year’s World Cup. There were whispers earlier this month that Pollard could find himself getting an opportunity for the Boks as early as sometime during the June series if the Junior Boks got knocked out early, with everything hinging on their pool game against the Kiwis 10 days ago.

Had the Junior Boks made an early exit, Pollard could have been the solution to a potential flyhalf crisis in the squad now that Johan Goosen is doubtful for the rest of the series because of a knee injury sustained in this past weekend’s 38-16 win over Wales in Durban. Goosen limped off not long after coming onto the field and Meyer admitted afterwards that Goosen was the big concern looking ahead to next week’s second test in Nelspruit.

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Francois Steyn

Francois Steyn

South AfricaCell C Sharks backline star Frans Steyn is unlikely to feature for the Springboks in the June Internationals.

Steyn was one of 10 players who took no or little part in the field sessions at the Springbok training camp in Durban, which concluded on Wednesday.

Steyn has been suffering from a chronic knee dysfunction which has been managed by Sharks and upon a request from his franchise, the load on his knee was limited by keeping him out of training.

While the severity of the injury will only be confirmed later in the week, Steyn is expected to miss the June internationals. It is also possible that Steyn could miss the latter stages of Super Rugby, which would be a body blow to the Sharks.

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Johan GoosenCheetahsThe Cheetahs remain in the dark over the future of Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen, amidst escalating rumours that he is to depart from the Cheetahs.

The most recent dispatches from the Bloemfontein media suggest Goosen will make an announcement in the “next few days” – having been linked to French clubs Racing Metro and Toulon, as well as the Stormers.

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coenie_oosthuizenJohan GoosenCheetahsCheetahs coach Naka Drotske has included two Springbok stalwarts in his run on side for their Super Rugby encounter against the Western Force in Bloemfontein on Saturday afternoon.

Flyhalf Johan Goosen and prop Coenie Oosthuizen are back in the starting line-up after making an impact from the bench against the Bulls in Pretoria last week.

Goosen, who has recovered from a concussion, replaces Elgar Watts, while Oosthuizen comes in for Maks van Dyk at tight head prop. Both Watts and Van Dyk find themselves among the replacements.

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Cheetahscoenie_oosthuizenJohan GoosenCheetahs coach Naka Drotské has included two Springboks on his replacement bench in an otherwise unchanged line up for his side’s Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Springbok flyhalf Johan Goosen and Bok prop Coenie Oosthuizen have both been cleared to play after recovering from injuries. Goosen was sidelined for a couple of weeks with concussion, while Oosthuizen has finally recovered from a lengthy neck injury he sustained during the Cheetahs’ overseas tour to Australasia.

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CheetahsWillie Le RouxSpringbok fullback Willie le Roux will be rested from the Cheetahs’ two warm-up matches in Port Elizabeth this week, according to reports.

Le Roux fell on his shoulder during the Cheetahs’ warm-up game against Shimlas last week. He is not badly injured but won’t be risked for games against NMMU (Tuesday) and the EP Kings (Saturday).

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Cheetahs

This is the 6th in the series of Cheetahs Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for FLYHALVES in the Toyota Cheetahs 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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South AfricaSiyabonga “Scarra” Ntubeni is one of four uncapped players who will join three stalwarts of the Rugby World Cup winning squad of 2007, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie and Bakkies Botha, in 32-man Springbok squad for the forthcoming Castle Lager Outgoing Tour to Wales, Scotland and France.

It will be Botha and Fourie’s first involvement with the Springboks since the previous Rugby World Cup, in 2011 in New Zealand, while Pietersen is back in the squad for the first time this year.

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Free State CheetahsJohan GoosenFree State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotské, named a strong lineup and a virtual Super Rugby quality side to face the Vodacom Blue Bulls on Saturday in Bloemfontein for their Currie Cup clash.

Not only will they start with Coenie Oosthuizen at loosehead, but Coenie will have 2 Springboks next to him in the front row, with Adriaan Strauss at hooker and re-taking the captaincy and with Trevor Nyakane at tighthead.

But the biggest news is probably that the almost forgotton young brilliant flyhalf, Johan Goosen, might be back on the field from the bench, should he pass a fitness test on Friday. Goosen has been out of action since injuring his knee in training on the Cheetahs’ Australasian tour in Super Rugbyof 2013. He was set to return to action earlier, take part in the match against Griquas which was played this past weekend, but a few weeks ago he had to undergo an operation to remove a troubling appendix, which naturally delayed his return.

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CheetahsMuch needed good news for Cheetahs fans came from the Cheetahs camp, following the shock retirement of star bok flanker Juan Smith. Coenie Osthuizen, who has been recovering from back and neck injuries, was cleared for scrummaging sessions and came through unscathed. Furthermore, flyhalf sensation Johan Goosen has also been cleared to start after receiving treatment for a troublesome heel. Word is that he could have played against the Bulls but the coaches opted to rather rest him.

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