Juan Smith still injured, but Brussouw selected to start for Cheetahs

2009-09-17 00:00

INJURY has side lined Springbok and Free State flank Juan Smith for Saturday’s Currie Cup game against the Sharks, but fellow Test loose forward Heinrich Brussow will play in Durban.

The Sharks will name their team today and a number of current Springboks are certain to be involved.

The Free Staters, vastly improved and on the back of six successive Currie Cup wins, have made two changes o the team which beat Western Province with a penalty try in injury time at the weekend.

Brussow, one of the finds of the international season, will take over from Johan Wessels on the flank while Smith, who missed the weekend Test against the All Blacks in Hamilton, is still out with a hamstring strain.

In the other change, the highly-rated prop Wian du Preez returns to the front-row in place of young Coenie Oosthuizen.

Another Bok loose forward, flank Hendro scholtz, is back from injury and was yesterday named on the bench.

Coach Naka Drotské said Brussow’s selection was automatic in spite of a busy season of tough Test rugby.

“Heinrich picks himself in any team in world rugby and it is a huge bonus for us to have him back.”

There are no changes to the backline which has been boosted by the recent return of Meyer Bosman in midfield and played exceptionally well against Province.

Free State are in the top four of the log for the first time this season with the Blue Bulls fifth, two points adrift. The two team meet on Saturday week. After games in Durban and Pretoria, the Cheetahs have easier matches against Boland (home) and Leopards (away).

Free State have confirmed that flyhalf Jaques Louis-Potgieter will join the Blue Bulls after the Currie Cup.

Sharks head coach John Plumtree is certain to include several Boks in his match 22 though we will only know this morning whether such players as John Smit, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Ryan Kankowski, Ruan Pienaar, Odwa Ndungane and Adi Jacobs will start or if they will be used off the bench.

Beast Mtawarira (Achilles tendon), JP Pietersen (hamstring) have been ruled out by injury and Johann Muller (arm) is doubtful.

Kankowski is likely to start in place of number eight Keegan Daniel, who is nursing a thumb injury, while either Waylon Murray or Jacobs will take over from injured centre Riaan Swanepoel. It is also expected that Pienaar will return to scrumhalf but possibly off the bench with Charl McLeod starting. Tighthead prop Pat Cilliers is another battling with injury and either Smit or Jannie du Plessis could start in his place as the Sharks face a fierce challenge from the Cheeetahs front-row.

Kick-off on Saturday is 5.05pm and leading referee Mark Lawrence will handle the game.

Free State team: Hennie Daniller, Lionel Mapoe, Corné Uys, Meyer Bosman, Jongi Nokwe, Jacques-Louis Potgieter, JP Joubert, Ashley Johnson, Frans Viljoen, Heinrich Brüssow, David de Villiers, Nico Breedt, WP Nel, Adriaan Strauss (capt.), Wian du Preez.

Replacements: Richardt Strauss, Coenie Oosthuizen, Izak van der Westhuizen, Hendro Scholtz, Tertius Carse, Louis Strydom, JW Jonker, Johann Thormahlen.

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