The Toyota Cheetahs on Tuesday became the first franchise to announce their team for the opening round of Vodacom Super Rugby action, against the Lions on Saturday evening in Bloemfontein.
Adriaan Strauss will lead a team that includes one debutant in the starting lineup, former Springbok Sevens star Cornal Hendricks, and another potential debutant on the bench in Maks van Dyk.
Hendricks joined the Cheetahs this year after 18 tournaments in the HSBC Sevens World Series and a Sevens World Cup appearance in Moscow. The combination of pace, acceleration and anticipation make him a threaterning ball runner who can also be utilised in the centres.
Van Dyk has represented the South African U20 team at the Junior World Championships on home soil, playing in four of the team's five matches, including the triumphant final against New Zealand. He has previously played youth rugby at Western Province and later joined the Sharks Academy. This week, he could earn his first Super Rugby cap in the season-opener.
The match will be refereed by Craig Joubert and kicks off at 17h05 on Saturday.
Toyota Cheetahs team: Willie le Roux, Cornal Hendricks*#, Johann Sadie, Francois Venter#, Raymond Rhule, Johan Goosen, Shaun Venter#, Philip van der Walt, Lappies Labuschagne, Boom Prinsloo, Francois Uys, Lood de Jager, Coenie Oosthuizen, Adriaan Strauss (captain), Caylib Oosthuizen#. Replacements: Ryno Barnes, Trevor Nyakane, Rynard Landman, Jean Cook#, Sarel Pretorius, Elgar Watts, Ryno Benjamin, Maks van Dyk*.
* Uncapped at Vodacom Super Rugby level
# Franchise debut