Rugby 20.3.2014 06:00 am

Drotske axes Lappies

FILE PICTURE: Cheetahs Head Coach Naka Drotske. Picture: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Cheetahs Head Coach Naka Drotske. Picture: Richard Huggard/Gallo Images.

Cheetahs coach Naka Drotske dropped a minor bombshell yesterday when he axed flanker Lappies Labuschagne from the starting line-up for the team’s final Super Rugby tour game against the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

Labuschagne has been replaced by loose forward Jean Cook, while Drotske has also made two changes to his backline.

Wing Rayno Benjamin has been moved to inside centre in place of Francois Venter who has returned home with a shoulder injury.

With fullback Willie le Roux named as the new vice-captain, Hennie Daniller, who played off the bench in last week’s 60-27 loss to the Hurricanes, has been switched to left wing as Raymond Rhule has failed to recover from his ankle injury.

Meanwhile, flyhalf Peter Grant was yesterday included in the Stormers’ side as Demetri Catrakilis drops to the bench for their clash against the Brumbies in Canberra on Saturday.

Centre Juan de Jongh, who joined the team this week, has been drafted in on the bench.

Coach Allister Coetzee made five changes to the team that lost to the Chiefs last week, naming Gio Aplon at fullback after Jaco Taute was ruled out with a shoulder injury.

This will give Samoan left wing Sailosi Tugicakibau a first starting opportunity for the Stomers after coming off the bench the last few weeks.

Up front, lock Michael Rhodes has replaced De Kock Steenkamp who returned home with a groin injury, while tighthead prop Frans Malherbe has recovered from his toe injury to replace Brok Harris in the front row.

 

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