Naka Drotske has named forwards coach Barend Pieterse in the Cheetahs’ match 22 to face the Stormers on Saturday.
It was known that Pieterse planned to make a return to the game after retiring in 2008, but he was only expected to make the comeback during the Currie Cup later this year.
The 31-year-old lock had a bad run of injuries which prompted his retirement and he opted to take up a coaching role at the Cheetahs from 2009. But Pieterse will now make an early return as Drotske has named him on the wood for the trip to Newlands.
Corné Uys also returns to the team as he recovered from his ankle injury picked up against the Bulls in the opening round. But Drotske has favoured Ebersohn to partner Meyer Bosman in the midfield.
The only change to the starting line-up sees veteran Hendro Scholtz fill in for the injured Heinrich Brüssow while Kabamba Floors remains on the bench.
Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Jongi Nokwe, 10 Naas Olivier, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Frans Viljoen, 7 Juan Smith (c), 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Waltie Vermeulen, 4 Nico Breedt, 3 WP Nel, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Wian du Preez.
Subs: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Barend Pieterse, 19 Kabamba Floors, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Corne Uys, 22 Danwel Demas.