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Toyota Cheetahs team to face Benetton Rugby

Guinness PRO14 Rugby Editor

5 Jan 2018

Venter

On Saturday, 6 January 2018 the Toyota Cheetahs return to action after their summer break during December when they face Benetton Rugby in Treviso, Italy. Coach Rory Duncan has announced his team to take on Benetton at the Stadio Monigo in Treviso Italy. The match will be broadcasted live on SuperSport 1.

Benetton Rugby won both their festive fixtures against neighbours, Zebre but have not won three in a row in the Guinness PRO14 since December 2012. The Toyota Cheetahs have lost just twice since round 2, at home to Glasgow in October and away to Connacht in November. This is the two sides’ first meeting.

The Toyota Cheetahs will have to adapt from the South African summer to the winter temperatures in Italy and will have to take more of a physical approach in the cold and wet weather.

Changes to the team from the last match against Scarlets in December:

· Francois Venter is back on centre and will be taking over the reins after his impressive performance for the Springboks on the end-of-year tour.

· Craig Barry moves to full back, replacing Clayton Blommetjies who has been side-lined due to a cold.

· William Small-Smith will be starting on right wing.

· Springboks Oupa Mohoje (flanker) and Uzair Cassiem (No. 8) are both in the starting line-up. Cassiem will be making his Guinness PRO14 debut. Rynier Bernardo and Junior Pokomela will be providing cover on the bench.

· Tian Meyer is suffering from a groin injury giving Zee Mkhabela the opportunity on the bench.

· Niel Marais and AJ Coertzen will both be making their Guinness PRO14 debuts when they set foot to field.

15 Barry, Craig
14 Small Smith, William
13 Venter, Francois ( C )
12 Lee, Nico
11 Mapimpi, Makazola
10 Zeilinga, Fred
9 Venter, Shaun

1 Marais, Charles
2 Van Jaarsveld, Torsten
3 Coetzee, Johan
4 Wegner, Carl
5 Hugo, Reniel
6 Schoeman, Paul
7 Mohoje, Oupa
8 Cassiem, Uzair

16 Du Toit, Jacques
17 Nche, Ox
18 Botha, Tom
19 Bernardo, Rynier
20 Pokomela, Junior
21 Mkhabela, Zee
22 Marais, Niel
23 Coertzen, AJ

The referee for the match is Frank Murphy. He will be assisted by Stuart Gaffikin and Gianluca Gnecchi. The TMO is Leo Colgan.

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