DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to the side that faced the Crusaders at DHL Newlands last week.
Whilst injuries have meant that CJ van der Linde and Nick Koster fall out of the 22 with Brok Harris and Anton Van Zyl coming in, the team can also welcomes back a wealth of experience as Peter Grant and Bryan Habana return.
The coach has also opted to give Dewaldt Duvenage a break with Ricky Januarie coming into the starting XV. Coetzee said: “Ricky needs to start for us this weekend. Dewaldt has played very well and has started the last seven games for us, but we need to manage him properly for the rest of the campaign. Ricky has been playing well off the bench and he brings solid defense and physicality, which will be very valuable to the team.”
With a long flight as part of their preparations, many fans were concerned with how this will affect the team on Saturday. Coetzee, however is happy with how the team is handling the journey. “The trip is not something new for the players and most of them have done this for several years. From my side I think it went quite smoothly. We settled in nicely and have had three great training sessions. Now we are focussing and looking forward to the game on the weekend.”
That game sees our boys take on the Chiefs in Hamilton and the coach knows the pressure is on. Despite this, Coetzee will not deviate from the style that has served his team so well this season. “They are a very good side with some world class players. They are coming off a win and as we are coming off a loss the pressure will certainly be on us.
“We want to make sure that we get back to winning ways. Whilst it might be difficult conditions we will be looking to play positively as I am sure the Chiefs will be too. As with every game we must bring physicality, but what will be important is to take the chances that we create. If we do that we are in with a great chance.”
Saturday’s game kicks off 09h35 SA time, so make sure you are up early to cheer our boys on as they open their tour in Hamilton.
DHL Stormers team: Conrad Jantjes, Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean De Villiers, Bryan Habana, Peter Grant, Ricky Januarie, Duane Vermeulen, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (C), Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt, Brok Harris, Deon Fourie, Wicus Blaauw
Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff, De Kock Steenkamp, Anton Van Zyl, Dewaldt Duvenage, Lionel Cronje, Juan De Jongh