Cape Town – The 19th season of PRO14 begins at the Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein on Friday when recently crowned Currie Cup champions, the Cheetahs, welcome last season’s beaten finalists and 2015 champions, Glasgow Warriors.
Kick-off is at 19:05.
The two sides have met four times previously in the PRO14 with the visitors victorious on each occasion.
“We did well in the Currie Cup and enjoyed the moment, but the mentality among the players is that we still have to keep working hard. Glasgow Warriors are very task driven. We have to keep the momentum and we will be well prepared for this competition. We are not underestimating what is coming,” interim coach Franco Smith said via a press statement.
Club captain Tian Meyer added: “The good thing is that we start at home. Very tough opposition will be coming for us in the next three weeks and we have to be up for the challenge. I believe, and have all the confidence in the team, that we can bring home the victories and put up the log points. The attitude in the team is to stick together and keep working hard for the player next to you.”
The Cheetahs will be moving into a new direction with regards to captaincy. Continuing from the Currie Cup campaign, Meyer will be the leader on and off the field.
However, in order to manage the players’ game time, the Cheetahs announced that their on-field captain will change from time to time, with veteran Springbok scrumhalf Ruan Pienaar chosen as the run-on captain for Friday’s game against Glasgow.
The following players were not eligible for team selection due to injury: Justin Basson (knee), Ali Mgijima (Achilles), Marnus van der Merwe (foot), Charles Marais (bicep) and Clayton Blommetjies (ankle).
The following players were also ruled out due to international duty: Ruben de Haas (USA) and Aranos Coetzee (Namibia) – Rugby World Cup, Darren Adonis – SA Sevens.
15 Rhyno Smith, 14 William Small-Smith, 13 Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 12 Dries Swanepoel, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Tian Schoeman, 9 Ruan Pienaar (captain), 8 Henco Venter, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Gerhard Olivier, 5 Walt Steenkamp, 4 Sintu Manjezi, 3 Erich de Jager, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ox Nche
Substitutes: 16 Reinach Venter, 17 Boan Venter, 18 Luan de Bruin, 19 JP du Preez, 20 Sias Koen, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Tian Meyer, 23 Louis Fouche
15 Glenn Bryce, 14 Kyle Steyn, 13 Nick Grigg, 12 Huw Jones, 11 Rory Hughes, 10 Brandon Thomson, 9 Nick Frisby, 8 Matt Fagerson, 7 Callum Gibbins (captain), 6 Rob Harley, 5 Tim Swinson, 4 Andrew Davidson, 3 D’arcy Rae, 2 Grant Stewart, Oli Kebble
Substitutes: 16 Johnny Matthews, 17 Alex Allan, 18 Adam Nicol, 19 Bruce Flockhart, 20. Chris Fusaro, 21 Jamie Dobie, 22 Ruaridh Jackson, 23. Robbie Nairn
PRO14 Week 1 fixtures:
Friday, September 27
Cheetahs v Glasgow Warriors – 19:05
Ulster v Ospreys – 20:35
Saturday, September 28
Kings v Cardiff Blues – 16:00
Munster v Dragons – 16:00
Llanelli Scarlets v Connacht – 18:15
Benetton Rugby v Leinster – 18:15
Edinburgh v Zebre – 20:35