Bok duo boost Free State
Free State Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has included returning Springboks Coenie Oosthuizen and Adriaan Strauss in his run-on XV for Saturday's must-win Currie Cup clash with Western Province in Cape Town.
The Cheetahs, lying fifth in the standings ahead of the last round of matches in the league phase of the competition, must pick up at least two bonus points to progress to the play-offs.
In the absence of injured Springbok fly-half Johan Goosen, who is out for the rest of the season after he hurt his knee against the All Blacks last week, Drotske hoped the presence of Oosthuizen and Strauss would help boost his squad.
"We know that our game at Newlands is of great importance," Drotske said after he named his team on Wednesday.
"Therefore we have chosen to play Coenie and Adriaan, and we are hoping that they will light the fire for us.
"It is bad to be without Johan Goosen, but the rest of the side know what is up for grabs."
With Oosthuizen and Strauss returning to the side, prop Ross Geldenhuys and hooker Hercu Liebenberg were dropped to the replacement bench.
In the only other change to the line-up, veteran flanker Hendro Scholtz was promoted to the starting side as a replacement for Lappies Labuschagne, who was bumped on the head against the Sharks last week and withdrawn as a precautionary measure.
Drotske confirmed that Strauss would take back the captain's armband from Robert Ebersohn who had led the team in his absence.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Sias Ebersohn, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Philip van der Walt, 7 Francois Uys, 6 Hendro Scholtz, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Carl Wegner, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Adriaan Strauss (c), 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Hercu Liebenberg, 17 Ross Geldenhuys, 18 Waltie Vermeulen, 19 Davon Raubenheimer, 20 Tewis de Bruyn, 21 Philip Snyman, 22 Rayno Benjamin.
Referee: Jonathan Kaplan
Assistant referees: Marius Jonker, Linston Manuels
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein