Springbok centre De Wet Barry is anxious to set things right in the Super 14 match against the Reds in Brisbane on Friday following the criticism regarding his discipline and demotion to the bench.
Barry has, as predicted, been included in the Stormers starting line-up for their last match in Australasia.
Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe says the veteran player was very disappointed with recent events and he is determined to end the disappointing tour on a high note.
“De Wet’s intensity at training this week has been incredible,” said Van der Merwe. He decided to re-unite Barry and Jean de Villiers in midfield and said they are a proven combination.
“The Reds often try to cut through midfield and we believe De Wet’s defence in this channel will be the right counter to stop these attempts.”
Barry’s return is one of four changes and one positional switch to the team that started against the Chiefs last weekend.
Bolla Conradie (scrumhalf), Gerrie Brits (lock in place of the injured Ross Skeate) and Neil Fullard (in place of Eddie Andrews) have all been included in the starting lineup.
Van der Merwe believes Fullard, like Barry, is hungry to prove himself against the Queenslanders.
“Eddie has been in the starting lineup of every match so far this year and Neil hasn’t played a lot. He’s anxious to show what he can do at this level.”
The coach says Fullard’s fresh legs could help exploit a potential weakness in the Reds armour.
“The Sharks showed a few weeks ago that you can take them on in the set scrums. We also believe we can beat them in this facet of the game.”
Several people are however questioning the decision not to change the back triangle.
Tonderai Chavhanga (fullback) and Jongi Nokwe (left wing) were shaky under the high ball last week, but Van der Merwe thinks it is important to believe in their ability.
“I discussed the positional mistakes with Tonderai as well as those he made under the high ball and his knock-ons.
“Jongi also played well against the Chiefs, apart from his two knock-ons, and the attacking dimension of him, Tonderai and Rayno (Benjamin, right wing) must not be under-estimated.”
The Stormers received some good news on Wednesday when they heard the Reds Wallaby fullback, Chris Latham, has not yet recovered from a hamstring injury.
Stormers team: Tonderai Chavhanga, Rayno Benjamin, Jean De Villers, De Wet Barry (c), Jongi Nokwe, Naas Olivier, Bolla Conradie, Joe van Niekerk, Schalk Burger, Luke Watson, Andries Bekker, Gerrie Britz, Neil Fullard, Schalk Brits, JD Moller.
Replacements: Hanyani Shimange, Eddie Andrews, Henk Eksteen, Adri Badenhorst, Neil De Kock/Joe Pietersen.