In their first season as part of the Guinness PRO14, the Toyota Cheetahs were definitely the better performing of the South African teams by reaching the knockout stages. They only lost twice in Bloemfontein last season, to Glasgow in Round 6 and Munster in round 20.
So by no means should a strong team from the Warriors be a sign that this will be a walk in the park. Like Edinburgh, the Cheetahs have had two away losses to begin their campaign, but they are at home this weekend and will be hoping for a win to kick-start their season. The fixture between the two was played at a terrific tempo and this season’s version should see more of the same.
While Stuart Hogg managed to avoid a Scott Baldwin-esque mauling by the big cats several Warriors players visited while sightseeing earlier in the week, he will sit this one out with ankle trouble. Instead, Cheetahs Lock Justin Basson wins the award for most unusual injury excuse with pneumonia. Also on the Glasgow bench is Huw Jones who will make his first appearance since wrist surgery while Ruaridh Jackson takes over the fullback shirt for Hogg. With Duncan Taylor and Mark Bennett both out with medium to long term injuries, Jones’ timing from a Scotland perspective is pretty handy.
Nick Grigg is unwell so Alex Dunbar makes his first start while young Hastings continues to get the nod at 10. Ali Price starts at scrum-half, while both George Horne and Nick Frisby are on the bench. Presumably, the plan is for Frisby’s control late on rather than even more pace, which would be much harder at altitude. Unless they can handle it, in which case the plan is more pace. Both Horne or Jones would probably do fine on the wing.
The Warriors pack is looking pretty settled in terms of personnel and having done such a good job on Munster last weekend, will have to try and do the same to the ever-physical South Africans. Ryan Wilson sits this one out which sees Scott Cummings return in the boilerhouse and Rob Harley back on the blindside.
It’s the first of Glasgow’s two-week stint in the Southern Hemisphere and also a chance to see some PRO14 action without a Premier Sports sub, details on how to find it are below.
Toyota Cheetahs: Malcolm Jaer, William Small-Smith, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Nico Lee, Rabs Maxwane, Tian Schoeman, Tian Meyer, Charles Marais, Joseph Dweba, Aranos Coetzee, Walt Steenkamp, JP du Preez, Gerhard Olivier, Junior Pokomela, Aidon Davis.
Replacements: Jacques du Toit, Ox Nche, Gunther Janse, Dennis Visser, Niell Jordaan, Marnus van der Merwe, Shaun Venter, Ryno Eksteen.
Glasgow Warriors: Ruaridh Jackson, Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Pete Horne, DTH van der Merwe, Adam Hastings, Ali Price, Oli Kebble, Fraser Brown, Zander Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Jonny Gray, Rob Harley, Callum Gibbins (capt), Adam Ashe.
Replacements: George Turner, Alex Allan, D’arcy Rae, Matt Fagerson, Chris Fusaro, George Horne, Nick Frisby, Huw Jones.
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)
Touring players unavailable: Nick Grigg (illness), Stuart Hogg (ankle) and Ryan Wilson (knee).
At Toyota Stadium, Saturday 15 September, kick off 6.30pm (UK Time) – live on FreeSports. FreeSports is available on Freeview channel 95, Sky, 422, Virgin TV, 130/553, FreeSat 252, TalkTalk 95, BT Vision channel 95 & via TVPlayer.