Following their successful Super Rugby tour of Australasia, Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has opted not to tamper with his side for their home encounter against the Rebels in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
Winning three of their four games abroad, the Cheetahs ended their tour on a high and will hope to carry that momentum through to their second home match of the season.
One positive for the Cheetahs was the return of Springbok flank Heinrich Brussow to the starting line-up in their 19-10 victory over the Western Force last week. After recovering from a prolonged shoulder injury, he will again feature against the Rebels on Saturday.
“Heinrich is very positive about his comeback and he played his first 80 minutes last week and did very well,” Drotske said after naming his team on Wednesday.
“We spoke about not rushing him back and that is what we’ve done.
“He is a world class player that slows down possession and gets the turnovers.”
Drotske believed the absence of the Rebels’ star playmaker, Kurtley Beale, and Cooper Vuna would have no effect on the touring side’s plan of attack.
Both players were sent home after a reported altercation on the team bus following their 64-7 loss to the Sharks in Durban last week.
“We still don’t expect anything less than a huge performance from the Rebels,” Drotske said.
“The Sharks set the bar pretty high, beating them comprehensively in Durban, so they will be out to rectify that.”
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Lappies Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Francois Uys, 4 Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Coenie Oosthuizen, 18 Rynhard Landman, 19 Boom Prinsloo, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Ryno Benjamin