Former Springbok flank Jacques Potgieter will be expected to cause “damage” when he makes his Cheetahs debut against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.
Potgieter running out at No 8 is one of several changes made to the Cheetahs team by coach Hawies Fourie for the Preparation Series match.
“It is his first chance and I’d like to see him do all the things he is good at,” said Fourie about the former Bok loose-forward, who also played for the Bulls and Waratahs in Super Rugby.
According to Fourie there were some wide-eyed Cheetahs players in training this week when the big frame of Potgieter powered towards them.
“Jacques is a very good ball-carrier and an aggressive defender, so those are the two things that stand out for me. He must make an impact with ball in hand,” said Fourie. “And if the Pumas have the ball in hand he must create a bit of damage.”
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Fourie said his decision to pick a new-look team for this match was due to the fact he wanted to give all his squad members a run in the Preparation Series.
“I think only six or seven guys remain from the starting lineup that played against the Sharks,” he said, “so it will be a huge challenge.”
Several players weren’t considered because of injury, including prop Charles Marais, flank Junior Pokomela, centre Dries Swanepoel, wing William Small-Smith, hooker Louis van der Westhuizen, No 8 Jeandre Rudolph and flyhalf Brandon Thomson.
At fullback Rhyno Smith gets a chance, while Craig Barry is back at wing, Victor Sekekete at lock and on the flank Chris Massyn gets a chance along with Oupa Mohoje who is back from injury.
Kick-off on Friday is at 4.45pm
Cheetahs: Rhyno Smith, Malcolm Jaer, Chris Smit, Howard Mnisi, Craig Barry, Reinhardt Fortuin, Ruan Pienaar (capt), Jacques Potgieter, Oupa Mohoje, Chris Massyn, Victor Sekekete, Carl Wegner, Aranos Coetzee, Marnus van der Merwe, Cameron Dawson. Bench: Wilmar Arnoldi, Schalk Ferreira, Conraad van Vuuren, Rynier Bernardo, Aidon Davis, Tian Meyer, Frans Steyn, Rosko Specman