The Cheetahs have pulled out all their big guns for their pre-season clash with the EP Kings in East London on Saturday.
The big names missing from the side are skipper Juan Smith and first-choice props Coenie Oosthuizen and WP Nel, who are all still recovering from injuries sustained last season.
In the absence of the big front rankers, Marcel van der Merwe and Trevor Nyakane will pack down in the scrum, having both impressed during last year's Currie Cup.
Even without Smith the Cheetahs have a fearsome back row with Springboks Ashley Johnson, Davon Raubenheimer and Heinrich Brüssow all capable of match-winning performances.
While Griquas stars Sarel Pretorius and Riaan Viljoen are massive losses to the Cheetahs, having departed for the Waratahs and Sharks respectively, the void has been filled by exciting scrumhalf prospect Piet van Zyl and experienced fullback Hennie Daniller.
One player who will be closely examined this season is starlet Johan Goosen, who starts in the No.10 jersey ahead of Sias Ebersohn, which could indicate that he is currently first-choice in the pecking order.
Former Boland utility back Willie le Roux, who signed for Griquas at the end of last year, is listed amongst the replacements and has all the attacking flair to be a more than useful addition to the Cheetahs Super Rugby squad.
Cheetahs: 15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Dusty Noble, 13 Robert Ebersohn, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Johan Goosen, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Ashley Johnson, 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Marcel van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Lourens Adriaanse, 18 Andries Ferreira, 19 Philip van der Walt, 20 Marnus Hugo, 21 Sias Ebersohn, 22 Willie le Roux.
Date: Saturday, January 28
Venue: Buffalo City Stadium, East London
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