Sport24 today reported that Springbok Sevens player Phillip Van Der Walt has been called up by the Vodacom Cheetahs as cover for Juan Smith. Smith will leave Australia early on Friday to be with his family. Juan Smith’s father passed away unexpectedly from Rift Valley Fever which he contracted recently after an outbreak in the Free State.
The BlitzBokke’s Phillip Van Der Walt
Sport24 goes on to say:
Van der Walt was part of the Bok Sevens side to Wellington and Las Vegas but will get his first taste of Super 14 rugby on the tour after receiving the SOS to fly to Australia.
The Bok flanker (Smith) had only joined his teammates on Monday night, after missing the previous two matches to be at the hospital with his father.
Smith’s withdrawal from the team has also forced coach Naka Drotske to make a number of changes in his starting line-up.
Barend Pieterse returns to blindside flank where he covered for Smith in the past few games, with rookie Izak van der Westhuizen starting at lock in his Super 14 debut.
Nico Breedt, who was initially dropped from the side, comes back onto the bench for the game.
Phillip Van Der Walt (Pic: Sport24/Gallo Images)
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The Vodacom Cheetahs posted the following on their website today:
Due to the passing of Juan Smith’s dad this morning, Naka had to make the following changes to the lineup against the Brumbies this Saturday.
15. Hennie Daniller
14. Wilmaure Louw
13. Corne Uys
12. Meyer Bosman (vc)
11. Jongi Nokwe
10. Naas Olivier
9. Tewis de Bruyn
8. Kabamba Floors
7. Barend Pieterse (moves up from no. 4)
6. Hendro Scholtz
5. Waltie Vermeulen
4. Izak van der Westhuizen (moves up from the bench)
3. WP Nel
2. Adriaan Strauss (c) (new captain)
1. Coenie Oosthuizen
16. Ryno Barnes
17. Wian du Preez
18. Nico Breedt (new on the bench in place of Izak vd Westhuizen)
19. Davon Raubenheimer
20. Sarel Pretorius
21. Robert Ebersohn
22. Riaan Viljoen