Cheetahs wary of hungry Lions
February 11, 2014
Johann Sadie starts in the centres for the Cheetahs' season opener © Getty Images
Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske believes the Lions' hunger for a return to Super Rugby will make them a dangerous opponent in their opening match in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"It is good to have them back, but they will be a dangerous team, there is no doubt about that," Drotske told supersport.com on Tuesday. "South African derbies in the competition are always important and also very risky. We've seen the underdogs beating the home side on quite a few occasions in the past so we are well aware of the threat they pose."
Drotske named a full-strength side, with Springbok fly-half Johan Goosen making a return after a lengthy injury layoff, while Bulls recruit Francois Venter will receive a starting berth at centre. Goosen suffered knee ligament damage before the side's match against the Waratahs early in the season.
Springbok prop Trevor Nyakane has been named on the bench with Caylib Oosthuizen being named in the starting XV.
"Trevor will definitely play in the second half against the Lions as an impact player," Drotske said. "We gave Caylib the start based on the fact that he was the better of the two in the warm-up games. It is purely a decision made on merit and gives Trevor the opportunity to come on in the second half and show that he wants to start in the next game."
Flanker Boom Prinsloo has been selected for the run-on side, while former Bulls loose forward Jean Cook could make an appearance off the bench.
"Boom played very well in the warm-up game against the Pumas," the Cheetahs coach said. "He made a couple of crucial turnovers on the ground and we will need that sort of thing against the Lions. They [the Lions] like to attack from the wider channels and if we can slow down their possession and turn it over, that will definitely benefit us. That being said, flanker is one of the positions we are fortunate enough to have a lot of depth in and Jean will certainly get game time on Saturday."
Cheetahs: Willie le Roux; Cornal Hendricks, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter, Raymond Rhule; Johan Goosen, Shaun Venter; Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Boom Prinsloo; Francois Uys, Lood de Jager; Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen. Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Maks van Dyk, Ligtoring Landman, Jean Cook, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Rayno Benjamin.
Greg Growden and Russell Barwick examine the Super Rugby challenge from South Africa's five franchises
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Rugby league legend Kevin Sinfield has opted to cross codes to union and has signed for Yorkshire Carnegie
Kimi Raikkonen says Ferrari still has work to do to be consistently competitive with Mercedes but is confident it has taken a big chunk out of Mercedes lead following Sebastian Vettel's victory in Malaysia
Ulster are on the verge of completing the signing of All Blacks winger Charles Piutau
Ferrari technical director James Allison says the sweeping changes made to Ferrari over the winter are making it stronger every month following the team's first victory since May 2013 on Sunday
Chelsea star Cesc Fabregas has told Marca he understands why other players get picked ahead of him for the Spanish national team
The Hurricanes have always been a franchise rich on talent, but something was always awry; not any more as they look the real deal Sam Bruce writes
Could the ongoing problems with the interpretation of the breakdown and rolling maul be solved with a simplification of the lawbook? Scrum5 discusses
Maurice Hamilton looks through the reaction of the British press to Sebastian Vettel and Ferrari returning to winning ways at the Malaysian Grand Prix
Concussion, relegation and the mother of all surprises - it's the Monday Maul.
Luis Suarez graced the Anfield turf again on Sunday and vowed that if he ever returned to England, it would only be to play for Liverpool
Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin has said he is unsure if he would have made the grade if he had stayed at Barcelona and is pleased to have been given a chance by Arsene Wenger
Six months after being victim of a machete attack that left him fearing for his life, Kell Brook dished out a vicious attack of his own in his a first world title defence
Amir Khan believes the time is not right for a Battle of Britain with Kell Brook for the IBF world welterweight title as the reigning champion is virtually unknown in the United States
Manchester United target Mats Hummels is considering his Borussia Dortmund future
Rory McIlroy walked off at the Honda Classic. What next for the Northern Irishman?
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
After a 10-year break in the fixture, England and Italy have faced each other three times in as many seasons, with one win each and a draw
Join Steve Bunce and Barry Jones each week for the latest news, views and debate from the boxing world.
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner