Head coach Allister Coetzee has announced 4 personnel changes to the DHL Stormers starting 15 ahead of their final 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby tour match on Saturday – against the Western Force in Perth (kick-off 13:45 SA Time).
Hooker Bongi Mbonambi, lock Ruan Botha, flanker Siya Kolisi and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder will all start this week, with prop Ali Vermaak and loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe the new faces on the bench.
Notshe joins the matchday 23 this week as a replacement for Kolisi, who will start at No 6 – with Schalk Burger moving across to No 7 – in the absence of Michael Rhodes, who flew home with a hamstring tear suffered against the Waratahs last weekend.
The only other injury-enforced change from the Waratahs game – won 32 / 18 by the DHL Stormers – is Botha in for Manuel Carizza in the No 5 jersey, with the latter still battling with a cut on the inside of his mouth.
The injury list for the DHL Stormers is growing following the addition of 3 more players after the hard won victory over the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
Locks Jurie Van Vuuren, Ruan Botha and Flank Michael Rhodes all picked up injuries and will be assessed in the coming days.
The DHL Stormers have been boosted by the return to fitness of Springboks Nizaam Carr and Damian de Allende as well as lock Ruan Botha ahead of their Super Rugby encounter against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
Wing Kobus van Wyk is an injury doubt however, and flank Siya Kolisi will not be risked this weekend.
The Stormers will travel to Loftus Versfeld for their 2015 season-opener, before hosting New Zealand side, the Blues, at Newlands the following weekend.
The team, to face the Bulls, will be announced at lunch-time on Thursday.
A 28-man DHL Stormers squad will head to George this weekend, as the Men from the Cape start their 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby preparations against the SWD Eagles at Outeniqua Park on Saturday (Kick-Off 16:30 SA Time).
Stormers squad for George:
New captain Duane Vermeulen will lead a starting XV with four Test players – three Springboks and an Argentine international – whilst props Steven Kitshoff (back from a long-term injury) and Vincent Koch (a new signing) are the other noteworthy inclusions.
Dillyn Leyds, after making his return from Australia during last year’s Absa Currie Cup competition, will start on the left-wing – part of an exciting back three with EW Viljoen on the right-wing and speedster Cheslin Kolbe lining up at fullback.
DHL Stormers hooker Tiaan Liebenberg has also flown home from his team’s Vodacom Super Rugby tour of Australia, joining Schalk Burger who returned to Cape Town on Sunday.
De Kock Steenkamp has become the Stormers latest casualty, as the struggling team’s second row resources are stretched to the limit.
Steenkamp suffered groin injury in his team’s 20-36 loss to the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday – a result that saw the men from Cape Town drop to second from last on the standings, just above the winless Hurricanes.
Coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting line-up for the DHL Stormers’ first match of their 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tour.
The DHL Stormers will take on the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA Time, 19:35 NZ Time) without injured forwards, lock Rynhardt Elstadt and flanker Siya Kolisi, with the fit-again De Kock Steenkamp and Schalk Burger replacing them up front.
This is the third in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.
We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.
In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.
DHL WP will be chasing a win away from home against the Kings, the Men in Blue & White having gone down 23-24 in the dying seconds of last weekend’s encounter against the Sharks XV in Athlone.