Springbok forwards Frans Malherbe and Marvin Orie have been included in the DHL Stormers team to face London Irish in a Heineken Champions Cup encounter at DHL Stadium on Saturday.
There are five changes in total for the DHL Stormers’ first home game in the prestigious competition, which kicks off at 19h30 on Saturday.
Willie Engelbrecht comes in at blindside flank for the injured Ernst van Rhyn, while in the backline scrumhalf Paul de Wet and wing Angelo Davids will both start after featuring among the replacements last week.
Davids is in for Alapati Leuia, who has been ruled out with a minor injury, while Dan du Plessis has also been given a further week to recover, with Damian Willemse continuing at inside centre.
Herschel Jantjies is one of two backs on the replacements bench and will earn his 50th DHL Stormers cap when he comes on.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team appreciate how important it is to win your home games in this competition.
“This is a very big game for us, apart from it being our first home game in the Heineken Champions Cup and historic from that point of view.
“It has been some time since we played at DHL Stadium and the team is looking forward to getting out there and making the most of it,” he said.
Dobson paid tribute to scrumhalf Jantjies ahead of his milestone of 50 games.
“Herschel loves this team and at 26 still has many games for the DHL Stormers ahead of him. It’s a great achievement and he can be proud of what he has done in a DHL Stormers jersey over the last four seasons,” he said.
The DHL Stormers coach added that having the likes of Malherbe and Orie coming in is ideal.
“Frans was just nominated as SA Rugby Player of the Year, he and Marvin will bring a level of calm and composure in our set-pieces and in general play. They will have an impact on the players around them that should lift the team for a big performance,” he said.
DHL Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Junior Pokomela, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Suleiman Hartzenberg.