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Johann expects a tough encounter as Cheetahs come to town

(Photo: Key man JJ Hanrahan starts at out-half)
MUNSTER head coach Johann van Graan has reason to expect a real hard test from South African side Toyota Cheetahs tomorrow at Thomond Park.
Heading into their second season in the Guinness PRO14, he expressed the view this week that the visitors will have benefited from that experience and they will be out to impress in their opening game of the championship.
Cheetah coach Franco Smith, who put his duties as Springbok Attack Coach aside to focus fully on this side, is confident of a good performance by his charges: “We are excited to be involved in the Guinness PRO14 again. We have a huge task ahead of us with new players who joined the squad and we want to make South Africa and Guinness PRO14 proud.
“Tomorrow is the beginning of a new season. We are realistic. We will have to stick to the process and try to adapt as quick as possible to the required tempo and intensity.”
The two sides have met twice before with Munster winning both encounters and Munster boss van Graan spoke about narrow margins ahead in this competition: “Last season we lost games by one point and we want to keep that in mind. We want to take points from every game this season and we are focusing on that. All the teams are starting this week-end on zero points in this league so it is all to play for.”
Coach Franco Smith has announced his team for the match.
Oupa Mohoje will be leading the side for the season.
A number of players will be making their Guinness PRO14 debuts: Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Tian Schoeman, Luan de Bruin, JP du Preez, Walt Steenkamp, Aidon Davis and Ryno Eksteen.
The team will be travelling to Wales on Sunday for the second match where they will be facing Ospreys in Swansea on Saturday, 8 September at 18:30 (SA time) before they return to Bloemfontein.
Toyota Cheetahs: Malcolm Jaer; Rabz Maxwane, Benhard Janse van Rensburg, Nico Lee, William Small-Smith; Tian Schoeman, Shaun Venter; Ox Nche, Jacques du Toit, Luan de Bruin; Justin Basson, JP du Preez, Junior Pokomela, Oupa Mohoje, Jasper Wiese.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Charles Marais, 18 Aranos Coetzee, 19 Walt Steenkamp, 20 Aidon Davis, 21 Tian Meyer, 22 Ernst Stapelberg, 23 Ryno Eksteen.
The referee for the match is Dan Jones (WRU, 15th competition game). He will be assisted by Craig Evans and Mark Patton. The TMO is Simon McDowell.

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