The Free Staters travel to Nelspruit where their match against the Phakisa Pumas in the Mbombela Stadium kicks off at 19h00 on Friday – with all the action live on SuperSport.

Steyn’s move from inside centre to the No 10 jersey means a new midfield pairing too. Howard Mnisi shifts from No 13 to No 12, with Dries Swanepoel getting his first start of the season at outside centre.

William Small-Smith moves from right wing to the left, with Duncan Saal getting the nod – the former FNB Maties flyer will be making his Carling Currie Cup debut for the Toyota Cheetahs.

Clayton Blommetjies (fullback) is the only player in the backline who will start in the same position as last week, while Tian Meyer moves to the bench in a rotational switch with De Haas, a Test player for the USA.

Duncan Saal in action for FNB Maties in the FNB Varsity Cup

Duncan Saal in action for FNB Maties in the FNB Varsity Cup

Upfront, Fourie has also made a few changes. Marnus van der Merwe has been promoted from the bench and will start at hooker in place of Jacques du Toit. The locks are Carl Wegner and Reniel Hugo, while Oupa Mohoje (loose forward) is back in the match-23 and has been included amongst the replacements.

Joining Mohoje and Meyer on the bench are Rhyno Smith (utility back), Chris Massyn (loose forward) and Louis van der Westhuizen (hooker).

Malcolm Jaer, Tian Schoeman, Ian Groenewald, Victor Sekekete and Du Toit will not feature this weekend, while the Toyota Cheetahs are still without a long list of injured players in Wilmar Arnoldi (cheek bone), Aranos Coetzee (ankle), Ruan Pienaar (knee), Craig Barry (knee), Charles Marais (neck), Junior Pokomela (wrist), Hencus van Wyk (hamstring) and Rosko Specman (hamstring).

Toyota Cheetahs: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Duncan Saal, 13 Dries Swanepoel 12 Howard Mnisi, 11 William Small-Smith, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Ruben de Haas, 8 Jeandré Rudolph, 7 Aidon Davis, 6 Andisa Ntsila, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Carl Wegner (captain), 3 Khutha Mchunu, 2 Marnus van der Merwe, 1 Boan Venter. Replacements: 16 Louis van der Westhuizen, 17 Cameron Dawson, 18 Erich de Jager, 19 Oupa Mohoje, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Reinhardt Fortuin, 23 Rhyno Smith.

Match information – Phakisa Pumas v Toyota Cheetahs
Date: Friday, 18 December 2020
Time: 19h00
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant Referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Morne Ferreira
TMO: Pro Legoete
TV: SuperSport Grandstand and Rugby