Cheetahs shift speedster to centre

Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule will start at outside centre when the Free State Cheetahs tackle the Blue Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Rhule, who’s been one of the in-form youngsters in the Currie Cup this season, will get his first run in the No 13 jersey at senior level. He impressed in the position for the Free State U21s against Border in Bloemfontein, scoring a hat-trick in their 49-35 victory.

His switch sees skipper Robert Ebersohn shift to inside centre, while Andries Strauss drops to the bench. Rayno Benjamin starts at wing.

In other changes, Philip van der Walt returns to action and replaces Hendro Scholtz at No 8. There’s also rotation in the front row, with Marcel van der Merwe changing from tighthead to loosehead prop and Ross Geldenhuys getting a starting place. Schalk van der Merwe is out with injury.

As expected, prop Coenie Oosthuizen is is back in the match-day squad after recovering from a neck injury. He’s expected to feature at tighthead during the second half.

Free Sate Cheetahs – 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Raymond Rhule, 12 Robert Ebersohn (c), 11 Rayno Benjamin, 10 Tewis du Bruyn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Ross Geldenhuys, 2 Hercu Liebenberg, 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Subs: 16 AJ le Roux, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Carl Wegner, 19 Hendro Scholtz, 20 Sias Ebersohn, 21 Phillip Snyman, 22 Andries Strauss.