Head coach Allister Coetzee has revealed the DHL Stormers line-up for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby Qualifier against the Brumbies at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17h05), with Juan de Jongh assuming the leadership reins once again.
Outside centre De Jongh has been in the lead for the DHL Stormers since the loss of squad captain Duane Vermeulen and his return, from the side that played in Durban last Saturday, is one of the many expected changes this week.
De Jongh will, as usual, ‘buddy up’ with Damian de Allende in the centres, with Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis partnering at halfback and the back three of Cheslin Kolbe, Dillyn Leyds and Seabelo Senatla reunited once more.
Up front, Nizaam Carr – the only starting survivor from Durban – will pack down at No.8 in a powerful and consistent forward pack, with hooker Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) passed fit to join the bench.
Ntubeni (who replaces Michael Willemse on the bench), props Ali Vermaak and Vincent Koch, lock Jean Kleyn and loose forward Michael Rhodes will serve as the forwards replacements, with Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman and Jaco Taute the backline replacements.
“Knockout matches are different to league matches,” Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website.
“You only get one shot at it, you have to be on your game and you have to ensure you dominate physically from the outset. To ask players to be physical in the quarters is to express an understatement.
“The Brumbies are a tough team, a physical team, and will rely on their well-drilled consistent set-piece. We know they have got line speed and we know they attack the breakdown. We are certainly bracing ourselves for a physical battle.”
Speaking about the return to fitness of Springbok tourist Ntubeni, Coetzee added: “Scarra has made a good recovery and I’m pleased about that as it is always a bit dicey when it comes to a calf injury.
“I was happy with the way that Mikey Willemse performed in Durban, but Scarra has run well when tested this week. He ran on a soft surface on Tuesday and again today and he came through well both times.”
* Match tickets, priced between R80 and R350, can still be purchased for Saturday’s much anticipated clash at DHL Newlands – either online, at http://wprugby.computicket.com, or from Computicket outlets and Shoprite & Checkers stores nationwide.
The DHL Stormers team to face the Brumbies (home) is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Dillyn Leyds
13. Juan de Jongh (captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Seabelo Senatla
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Nizaam Carr
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Schalk Burger (vice-captain)
5. Manuel Carizza
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Bongi Mbonambi
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Ali Vermaak
18. Vincent Koch
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Michael Rhodes
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Jaco Taute
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Craig Joubert (South Africa), Jason Jaftha (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)