This weekend the Toyota Cheetahs face off against the DHL Stormers in the next fixture of the pre-season warm-up matches.
The home side have made 14 changes to the starting line-up with only Hennie Daniller surviving in the starting 15 that ran out against the Lions this past weekend. Nothing here is unexpected, but if I look at the comments on the Sport24 and Supersport articles about these changes, either I am missing something or the public as a whole are. These are training matches to give the players some game time ahead of what will be a gruelling Super Rugby season. I does not depend on your previous performance if you get chosen but more along the lines of giving everybody a chance to see what they got.
The Cheetahs will be giving 5 players a run this weekend who are returning from injury, the most notable will be the long awaited vision of Juan Smith in an Orange and White jersey again, although he will only be on for 15 minutes, I am sure he has been prepping himself for two years for this and will probably be giving a 150% from the onset, although I hope that he takes it easy for the first while.
I am also looking forward to the comeback of the other injured players, Willie le Roux’s talent is unquestionable and will be welcomed back with open arms, the comeback of two of our star loose forwards Lappies and Philip should also bulk things up in front and of course new addition Johann Sadie will make his debut for the Cheetahs this weekend against his Province of birth and will be out to show what he’s got.
The Stormers will be led by a former Cheetah, Duane Vermeulen who will give his all to show HM that Pierre Spies is not better than him.
The FSRU have also made tickets to this game free that will hopefully see Free State fill-up with support for both teams, I will be in Bloemfontein this weekend also watching the game, I won’t miss Juan’s comeback for anything.