The Cheetahs have selected Meyer Bosman at flyhalf to face Italian club Benetton in Welkom on Saturday, but Willem de Waal could still be the man who lines up against the Bulls on 10 February.
Cheetahs coach Rassie Erasmus has used his pre-season warm-ups to give his entire squad a run, and has yet to settle on his final XV.
The biggest talking point surrounds the halfbacks – with Michael Claassens and Falie Oelshig competing for the No 9 shirt, and De Waal and Bosman chasing the flyhalf berth. Claassens is the overwhelming favourite to face the Bulls, while Eramus preferred De Waal right the way through the Currie Cup season and is reluctant to change a winning formula. Saturday’s game in Welkom gives Bosman – who played two Tests on the Bok tour – another chance to change Rassie’s mind.
Gaffie du Toit once again starts at fullback, with Bevin Fortuin on the bench, while former SA U21 centre Ronnie Cooke teams up with ex-All Black Keith Lowen in midfield.
Among the forwards, Tiaan Liebenberg gets another start at hooker, while Lions lock Cobus Grobler makes his first appearance of the season for his adopted franchise. Kabamba Floors, who scored a hat trick against the Spears, wears the No 6 shirt, with Ryno van der Merwe and Heinrich Stride joining him in the loose trio.
Saturday’s game kicks off at 5pm, with the Griffons playing Griquas in the curtain-rasier at 3pm.
Cheetahs team to play Benetton:
15 Gaffie du Toit, 14 Eddie Fredericks, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Keith Lowen, 11 Vuyani Dlomo, 10 Meyer Bosman, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Ryno van der Merwe, 7 Heinrich Stride, 6 Kabamba Floors, 5 Corniel van Zyl, 4 Cobus Grobler, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Wiaan du Preez.
Subs: 16 Trevor Leota, 17 Ollie le Roux, 18 Os du Randt, 19 Okkie van Zyl, 20 Michael Claassen, 21 Willem de Waal, 22 Alwyn Hollenbach.
Reserves: Gareth Krause, Frans Viljoen, Barry Goodes, Giscard Pieters, Bevin Fortuin, Juan Smith.