The DHL Stormers have announced just one change to the starting team for their first home match of the 2015 Vodacom Super Rugby season, against the Blues at DHL Newlands on Saturday (kick-off 17h05).
Having opened their campaign with a clinical 29-17 win over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend, DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has wisely kept the changes to a minimum.
In an enforced change, however, No.4 lock Jean Kleyn misses out with a hamstring injury, handing a start to fellow young gun and lock-cum-flank Jurie van Vuuren – after the latter came off the bench at Loftus Versfeld.
In a further change to the 23-man squad that played away last Saturday, fit-again Springbok loose forward Siya Kolisi comes in for Van Vuuren in the No.19 shirt – meaning Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt will cover at lock whilst giving the hosts two explosive back-row options from the bench in the process.
“Frans Malherbe and Kobus van Wyk are not quite there yet (in terms of fitness), but, that said, it’s great to be able to reward our players (with selection) after last week’s performance,” coach Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website.
“Losing Jean is a blow, in terms of continuity, but we didn’t want to risk him – after all it’s a long season.”
Saturday will see skipper Duane Vermeulen play his 100th Vodacom Super Rugby match (his 80th for the DHL Stormers since 2009, along with 20 matches for the Cheetahs between 2007 & 2008) in a DHL Stormers starting XV that boasts a total of just 402 Super Rugby caps – 256 caps amongst the forwards and 146 in the backline.
“Our youngsters put their hands up last week and I expect the same from them again this Saturday, at home at DHL Newlands where we have a very good and proud record,” said Coetzee.
“It’s important that the players understand the need to back up last week’s performance against a very experienced Blues team. Someone like Tony Woodcock has played almost 150 Super Rugby games and over 100 Test matches, whereas our tight five, combined, does not boast even 90 Super Rugby appearances.
“We’re expecting a massive onslaught from the Blues on Saturday, but it’s great to be back at home and we look forward to being in front of our home fans at DHL Newlands,” added the DHL Stormers boss.
* Match tickets, priced between R80 and R140, can still be purchased ahead of Saturday – either online, at wprugby.computicket.com, or from Computicket outlets and Shoprite & Checkers stores nationwide.
The DHL Stormers team to face the Blues (home) is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Johnny Kotze
13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Dillyn Leyds
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (captain) – 100th Vodacom Super Rugby match
7. Michael Rhodes
6. Rynhardt Elstadt
5. Ruan Botha
4. Jurie van Vuuren
3. Vincent Koch
2. Scarra Ntubeni
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Bongi Mbonambi
17. Oli Kebble
18. Wilco Louw
19. Siya Kolisi
20. Nizaam Carr
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Huw Jones
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
TMO: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)