Cheetahs name strong team for opener

Date published: August 4 2016

Free State Cheetahs head coach Franco Smith has named a strong starting line-up for their Currie Cup opener with Boland in Wellington on Saturday.

Eight players who were in action in their last Super Rugby match, against the Bulls in Bloemfontein on July 16 have been included in the run-on side while Francois Venter returns to lead the side from outside centre.

Venter lines up in midfield with William Small-Smith while Fred Zeilinga and Shaun Venter form the halfback combination. Elsewhere, Clayton Blommetjies starts at full-back alongside wingers Raymond Rhule and Sergeal Petersen.

In the forwards, Neill Jordaan starts at number with Uzair Cassiem and Paul Schoeman the starting flankers. Reniel Hugo and Carl Wegner line up in the second row and in the front row, hooker Joseph Dweba packs down alongside Tom Botha and Ox Nche.

Free State: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Francois Venter (c), 12 William Small-Smith, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Fred Zeilinga, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Neill Jordaan, 7 Uzair Cassiem, 6 Paul Schoeman, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche 
Replacements: 16 Jacques du Toit, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Justin Basson, 19 Henco Venter, 20 Tian Meyer, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Ryno Benjamin

Date: Saturday, August 6
Venue: Boland Stadium, Wellington
Kick-off: 15:00 local (13:00 GMT)
Referee: Rodney Boneparte
Assistant referees: Francois Pretorius, Sinethemba Mrulwa
TMO: Shaun Veldsman