Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske has selected a number of youngsters and some fresh faces for his final group of 30 players for the upcoming Super Rugby competition.
Most notable are the inclusion of Griquas fullback Willie le Roux and flanker Justin Downey.
Drotske also opted for two of Shimlas’ stars in the Varsity Cup in flank Lappies Labuschagne and wing Cameron Jacobs.
Downey impressed in last year’s Currie Cup and recent warm-up games, while Le Roux made his mark against the Bulls last weekend.
Drotske has not included prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who is currently recovering from a neck injury, but the youngster could feature in the Cheetahs’ overseas leg of the competition if he is fit.
The coach excluded a number of stalwarts in wing Philip Burger, hooker Ryno Barnes and utility back Riaan Smit from his final group.
Labuschagne and Jacobs’ inclusion, meanwhile, could mean the end of their Varsity Cup campaign as players can only compete in the competition if they have less than four Super Rugby games under their belts.
Drotske could call on them for the Cheetahs’ first game against the Lions next week, or they might continue playing for Shimlas, should they not be included in a match 22 or the overseas legs.
The coach also selected the two Griquas wingers — Rocco Jansen and Dusty Noble — who made their mark against the Kings and the Bulls respectively.
Springbok flank Juan Smith’s name was not mentioned but he is expected to feature once he has recovered from an Achilles injury.
Forwards: Trevor Nyakane, Marcel van der Merwe, WP Nel, Lourens Adriaanse, Adriaan Strauss, Hercu Liebenberg, Andries Ferreira, Francois Uys, Izak van der Westhuizen, George Earle, Heinrich Brssow, Justin Downey, Ashley Johnson, Lappies Labuschagn, Davon Raubenheimer, Philip van der Walt.
Backs: Pieter van Zyl, Tewis de Bruyn, Sias Ebersohn, Johan Goosen, Philip Snyman, Andries Strauss, Robert Ebersohn, Barry Geel, Rocco Jansen, Cameron Jacobs, Rayno Benjamin, Dusty Noble, Hennie Daniller, Willie le Roux.