Returning former Springbok No 9 Ruan Pienaar will play from off the bench when the Cheetahs face the Stormers in this weekend’s preparation series opener at the Cape Town Stadium.
It will be the scrumhalf’s first taste of the action since he injured his knee in the second round of the Super Rugby Unlocked competition, against the Bulls.
“Ruan went through a lengthy rehab process and we didn’t want to rush him back,” said Cheetahs boss Hawies Fourie on Thursday. “If this match, however, was a crucial one, with a cup at stake, things might have been different.”
Fourie added the veteran No 9 would act as co-captain, alongside lock Carl Wegner, who is set to leave the union in June, for this game.
“Ruan will play the last 20 minutes (on Saturday) and will take over as captain if Carl has to go off,” said Fourie. “We will, however, review the captaincy on a weekly basis and will make a further call before the Sharks game next weekend.”
Fourie also confirmed that the Cheetahs had signed former Bok and Bulls flank Jacques Potgieter, following a successful trial period.
“We will finalise the details with his agent, but in principle we’ll contract him for one year, from the beginning of March,” said Fourie. “Jacques is an experienced campaigner. He is in good shape, but short on fitness.”
Cheetahs: Clayton Blommetjies, Duncan Saal, Chris Smit, Frans Steyn, Rosko Specman, Reinhardt Fortuin, Tian Meyer, Jeandré Rudolph, George Cronje, Andisa Ntsila, Rynier Bernardo, Carl Wegner (capt), Aranos Coetzee, Wilmar Arnoldi, Schalk Ferreira. Bench: Marnus van der Merwe, Conraad van Vuuren, Khutha Mchunu, Victor Sekekete, Aidon Davis, Ruan Pienaar, Dries Swanepoel, Rhyno Smith