Gaffie to the rescue

Gaffie du Toit is set to return to the Cheetahs starting XV for their Vodacom Super 14 match against the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday.

The former Springbok utility back missed the Cheetahs’ first two tour matches because of personal reasons. However, with coach Rassie Erasmus blaming inexperience for his team’s 53-20 defeat to the Brumbies last weekend, Du Toit’s selection on the left wing would come as no surprise.

The 30-year-old has played 11 Test matches for the Boks and notched up more than 60 Super Rugby appearances. Crucially, he kicks well with both feet and can play almost anywhere in the Cheetahs backline. Du Toit will cover Meyer Bosman at No 10, which’ll probably see Willem de Waal drop out of the match 22.

Erasmus may be tempted to beef up his backline by giving Keith Lowen his second start of the season. The former All Black centre made a solid debut against the Waratahs two weeks ago, and could return to the midfield in place of Barry Goodes.

In a third possible change, Falie Oelshig has served his one-match ban for throwing a punch in Sydney and may replace Michael Claassens as part of the Cheetahs’ rotation policy.

The Cheetahs have lost several key players to injury this season – including captain Juan Smith, CJ van der Linde and Hendro Scholtz – but came through the Brumbies defeat unscathed.

“There are no injuries, which is a big positive,” Cheetahs manager Naka Drotske told keo.co.za. “There will probably be changes for the game against the Crusaders, but we’ll only sit down and discuss the team line-up on Tuesday evening.”

By Simon Borchardt