Head coach Allister Coetzee has announced a team showing seven changes for the DHL Stormers’ final Vodacom Super Rugby tour match on Saturday – against the Reds in Brisbane (kick-off 10h40 SA time).
Springbok centre Juan de Jongh has been restored to the starting line-up, following his return from injury via the bench last weekend, whilst WP Under-21 star Jurie van Vuuren will make his first Super Rugby start after being named to partner Michael Rhodes at lock.
Van Vuuren, who came off the bench last week, is a product of the WP Rugby Institute in Stellenbosch and has lifted silverware with the DHL WP Under-19 (2012) and Under-21 (2013) teams in the past two seasons.
His promotion to the starting XV, in the absence of injured lock Ruan Botha (ankle), is one of three changes to the DHL Stormers pack that started against the Brumbies in Canberra last Saturday – the others see Deon Fourie start at hooker and Nizaam Carr come in at No.6.
In the backline, meanwhile, the return of De Jongh means a switch back to inside centre for captain Jean de Villiers and Damian de Allende moving back to the wing where he began the 2014 season. Louis Schreuder will come in at scrumhalf, with Nic Groom dropping down to the bench after three starts in a row. Groom also has a slight niggle and did not train fully this week.
In a final change to the backs division, Kobus van Wyk drops out of the matchday 23 altogether after taking a knock to his knee against the Brumbies, with Jaco Taute back on the bench after resting his troublesome AC Joint last weekend.
Taute, in turn, will be joined on the bench by DHL WP Vodacom Cup stars, lock Tazz Fuzani and loose forward Sikhumbuzo Nothse. Both Fuzani and Notshe, who arrived in Brisbane just a day ago, are uncapped at Super Rugby level.
Fuzani, 23, played three Absa Currie Cup matches for DHL Western Province last season, to go with nine appearances at Vodacom Cup level, whilst Notshe – who left school at the end of 2012 – has played 12 Vodacom Cup matches for Province.
Looking ahead to the weekend, coach Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “We’d dearly love to finish our tour with a victory in Brisbane.
“We know it won’t be easy, but the guys remain positive and determined to make it count this weekend against a Reds team that will also be desperate to get back to winning ways after two losses in South Africa.”
The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Reds) is as follows:
15. Gio Aplon
14. Damian de Allende
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Jean de Villiers (captain)
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Peter Grant
9. Louis Schreuder
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Michael Rhodes
4. Jurie van Vuuren
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Deon Fourie
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Oliver Kebble
18. Brok Harris
19. Tazz Fuzani
20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
21. Nic Groom
22. Demetri Catrakilis
23. Jaco Taute
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)