FS Cheetahs make three Currie Cup for Province

Free State Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan has announced a Currie Cup team with three changes for this week’s match against Western Province at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Saturday.

With stalwarts Rayno Benjamin and Jean Cook injured, Duncan opted to bring in JP du Plessis on the wing, while Neil Claassen comes into the loose trio as cover for Cook.

In a positional change, lock Henco Venter moves to the bench and is replaced by Werner Lourens in the starting line-up.

“We were happy with the way Werner made an impact against the Blue Bulls last Friday and therefore he earns a starting bid,” said Duncan on Wednesday.

“With regards to injuries, we know what we have in JP on the wing and Neil among the forwards and we are happy with what they bring to the table for what is obviously a very important game for us.”

The Cheetahs are currently fourth on the overall points log, and although Duncan said a home semi-final might be beyond their grasp, he still firmly believed his side could still win the Currie Cup.

“Since the start of the competition it was always our focus to win the competition.

“It may be a tough ask to get a home semi-final, but we still want to be crowned champions and for that reason we are still going out on the pitch and throwing everything we’ve got at our competitors.”

Western Province will travel without injured play-maker Cheslin Kolbe as well as speedster Seabelo Senatla, who has been called up to sevens duty.

Duncan warned the Cape side should not be underestimated.

“We are well aware of the threat they pose and we’ve focussed on all the areas we thought needed work in our game plan.

“We want to win the Currie Cup and if we want to do that we need to start by beating Western Province this weekend.”

Cheetahs

Clayton Blommetjies, JP du Plessis, Francois Venter, Joubert Engelbrecht, Raymond Rhule, Willie du Plessis, Sarel Pretorius, Lappies Labuschagne, Neil Claassen, Tienie Burger, Francois Uys, Werner Lourens, George Marich, Torsten van Jaarsveld (captain), Coenie Oosthuizen.

Replacements: Hercu Liebenberg, Caylib Oosthuizen, Henco Venter, Vincent Jobo, Shaun Venter, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, AJ Coertzen.

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