DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup star Devon Williams will make his first start for the DHL Stormers when the team travels to Bloemfontein to take on the Cheetahs in Super Rugby action on Saturday (kick-off 17h05).
Williams made his debut off the bench in last weekend’s 18-3 win over the Lions, but he will start in the No.11 jersey this week in the absence of Sailosi Tagicakibau who has not shaken off a sternum injury.
The 22-year-old Williams, a product of Paarl Boys’ High, was part of the cup-winning DHL Western Province Under-21 team last year, whilst he is also the top try-scorer in the 2014 Vodacom Cup with nine tries in just six games.
Williams and fullback Jaco Taute are the new faces in the starting line-up, with Peter Grant moving back into the No.10 shirt in the absence of Demetri Catrakilis (broken nose), but prop Oliver Kebble, flank Schalk Burger, flyhalf Kurt Coleman and wing Kobus van Wyk have all been named on the bench this week.
Kebble (knee), Burger (quad) and Van Wyk (abductor muscle) are all back to full fitness this week, but hooker Scarra Ntubeni (calf muscle) and winger Cheslin Kolbe (knee) are still another week away at this stage.
Looking ahead to Saturday, coach Allister Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website after the DHL Stormers’ training session at Northerns Avonwood in Elsie’s River: “We’re expecting a physical battle against a Cheetahs team that is always tough to play against in Bloemfontein.
“The Cheetahs are just behind us on the log, with one win and a draw, so both teams will be desperate to come away with a victory in our second all-South African derby in the space of just a week.”
The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Cheetahs) is as follows:
15. Jaco Taute
14. Damian de Allende
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Jean de Villiers (captain)
11. Devon Williams (On starting debut for the DHL Stormers)
10. Peter Grant
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Michael Rhodes
4. Ruan Botha
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Deon Fourie
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Oliver Kebble
18. Brok Harris
19. Jurie van Vuuren
20. Schalk Burger
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Kobus van Wyk
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)