Drotské backs young prop

Naka Drotské has selected the uncapped Marcel van der Merwe at tighthead prop for the Cheetahs’ crunch match against the Bulls on Saturday.

Van der Merwe replaces the more experienced WP Nel at No 3 for what will be a forward-oriented clash. It will mark the first start in Super Rugby for the 22-year-old.

Trevor Nyakane will start at No 1 in the absence of Coenie Oosthuizen, who is still recovering from a neck injury sustained in the Springboks’ 1st Test against England.

Cheetahs – 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Philip Snyman, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12, Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Andries Ferreira, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Subs: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 WP Nel, 18 George Earle, 19 Justin Downey, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Nico Scheepers.