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Kiwi Bleyendaal back at centre


Tyler Bleyendaal. Pic: sportsfile

Tyler Bleyendaal. Pic: sportsfile

Tyler Bleyendaal. Pic: sportsfile

Tyler Bleyendaal will return to action at centre rather than his familiar out-half as role Munster make their way to Bloemfontein tomorrow.

The New Zealander, once seen as Munster's answer to Ronan O'Gara, will play for the first time since February after what has been a sickening stretch of injuries.

Johann van Graan has chosen to go with the talented Bill Johnston at ten, making his first start outside the influential Alby Mathewson.

The coach has made no less than nine changes from the lot which eventually found a way to overcome Glasgow Warriors last week.

This will be an entirely different challenge as The Cheetahs like nothing more than to run the legs off of all their northern hemisphere guests and will aim to do so again.

The pack has been altered radically with South African Arno Botha stationed at No.8.

Usually a lock, Fineen Wycherley, a real workaholic, has been handed a start on the blindside.

Hooker Kevin O'Byrne, tight-head Stephen Archer - Ireland's John Ryan is on the bench - and second row Darren O'Shea complete the quintet introduced to freshen up the Munster pack.

Cheetahs: R Smith; W Small-Smith, B van Rensburg, N Lee, R Maxwane; T Schoeman, S Venter (Capt); O Nche, J Dweba, A Coetzee, W Steenkamp, JP du Preez, G Olivier, J Pokamela, A Davis.

Replacements: R Venter, C Marais, E de Jager, S Manjezi, D Maartens; A Nonkontwana, T Meyer, L Fouche.

Munster: M Haley; S Daly, S Arnold, T Bleyendaal (Capt), A Wootton; B Johnston, A Mathewson; J Cronin, K O'Byrne, S Archer; J Kleyn, D O'Shea, F Wycherley, C Cloete, A Botha.

Replacements: M Sherry, J Loughman, J Ryan, S O'Connor, G Coombes; D Williams, I Keatley, R Scannell.

Verdict: Cheetahs.