25/10/2019 – Toyota Cheetahs face Connacht in first game on tour

The Toyota Cheetahs start their European tour against Connacht on Saturday, 26 October.

The action kicks off at 18:15 (SA time) at The Sportsground in Galway, live on SuperSport 2, Premier Sports, eir Sport, TG4, DAZN and PRO14.tv.

“I believe that we are in a good place, coming from a successful Currie Cup season and having won the first three Guinness PRO14 matches, the players know what is expected for them and they know what to do where on the field.” Said Hawies Fourie ahead of his first official game as new coach of the Toyota Cheetahs.

“It’s a tough place to go to, weather-wise it is changing and we have had great conditions so far in the tournament, so it is something we have to get used to. We have had a chat and we believe we can back our skill-set in the conditions and still play the game we want to play to put teams under pressure,” Captain Ruan Pienaar on being on tour in Ireland.

“Connacht is a really good team and they haven’t lost a lot of players to World Cup duty. They have continuity in their selection and have started off well this season. It will be a big challenge but that is what a tour is for, you have to challenge yourself against the best. It is a tough one first up though and we are looking forward to getting started.”

The Toyota Cheetahs have won their last five matches representing their best run since joining the Guinness PRO14, although all five of those games have been played at home. Connacht Rugby has won their last two Guinness PRO14 fixtures, at home to Benetton and away at Dragons.

The two teams have met on four previous occasions with the Toyota Cheetahs only win being 26-25 in Toyota Stadium in March 2018.

Coach Hawies Fourie announced the team with some changes from the last match against Munster in Bloemfontein:

• Aranos Coetzee returns from World Cup (for Namibia) and will be the no. 3 prop. Luan de Bruin will be providing cover on the bench.
• Jasper Wiese will be starting on number eight, replacing Henco Venter who joined the Sharks.
• Dries Swanepoel returns from injury, starting on centre next to Benhard Janse van Rensburg, and swopping jerseys.
• Clayton Blommetjies will be starting as wing with William Small-Smith providing cover on the bench.
• Wilmar Arnoldi and George Whitehead will be making their Guinness PRO14 debuts when they set foot to field.

The following players are not eligible for team selection due to injury: Justin Basson (knee), Marnus van der Merwe (foot), Charles Marais (bicep) and Reinach Venter (ankle).

Connacht vs Toyota Cheetahs
26 October 2019. Kick-off: 18:15 (SA Time)

1. Ox Nche
2. Joseph Dweba
3. Aranos Coetzee
4. Sintu Manjezi
5. Walt Steenkamp
6. Gerhard Olivier
7. Junior Pokomela
8. Jasper Wiese
9. Ruan Pienaar (C)
10. Tian Schoeman
11. Anthony Volmink
12. Benhard Janse van Rensburg
13. Dries Swanepoel
14. Clayton Blommetjies
15. Rhyno Smith

16. Wilmar Arnoldi
17. Boan Venter
18. Luan de Bruin
19. JP du Preez
20. Sias Koen
21. Tian Meyer
22. George Whitehead
23. William Small-Smith

The referee for the match is Ben Whitehouse (WRU, 61st competition game). He will be assisted by Sean Gallagher (IRFU) and Gwyn Morris (WRU). The TMO is Sean Brickell (WRU).

Next match: Round 5 - Toyota Cheetahs vs Scarlets on Saturday, 2 November at 17:00 (SA time) at Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli, Wales.