Vice-captain Schalk Burger and captain Jean de Villiers are both back in the DHL Stormers team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17h05).
***Tickets for this weekend can be bought online at TicketPros, or from selected Spar stores or PostNet outlets/stores. Ticket prices start at R50 for standing and R80 for seating.***
Burger missed last weekend’s 24-8 win over the Force, whilst De Villiers returns after a two-week lay-off.
The return of De Villiers sees Springbok training squad member Damian de Allende shift back onto the right-wing, whilst Burger takes over the No.7 jersey from Siya Kolisi.
In other changes to the DHL Stormers line-up this week, Kurt Coleman returns as the starting flyhalf and loosehead prop Alistair Vermaak – after two impressive performances from the bench – will make his first Super Rugby start.
Prop Brok Harris, loose forward Siya Kolisi, flyhalf Peter Grant and wing Kobus van Wyk all drop down to the replacements bench this week, where they are joined by prop Oli Kebble who is back after sitting out with concussion for two weeks.
The DHL Stormers and Cheetahs have met 12 times since 2006, with the Stormers winning eight games and the Cheetahs emerging victorious on four occasions.
Looking ahead to the weekend, with his team having lost 22-35 to the Cheetahs a month ago, coach Allister Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “We learned a few lessons from our defeat last time out. On that occasion we gave the Cheetahs too much space when they ran the ball.
“We allowed them to get into that space, which you cannot do against them as they have players like Willie le Roux who will punish you. We must close up that space better than we did in Bloemfontein.”
Speaking further – about the team changes, most notably at flyhalf and loosehead prop – Coetzee added: “Kurt Coleman was always going to come back after his good game against the Bulls. He’s been playing great rugby.
“I said last week that Peter Grant was selected because we wanted to give him a fitting 100-game celebration. Some said it was a sentimental selection, but it was also a tactical selection as Peter suited the type of game we wanted to play against the Western Force. And he delivered on that.
“(Loosehead prop) Alistair Vermaak has been in our system for a while now and probably didn’t think at the start of the year that he was going to be playing Super Rugby,” continued Coetzee, “but he has taken his chance and I am confident he can do a job for us against the Cheetahs.”
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. Cheslin Kolbe
10. Kurt Coleman
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Schalk Burger (vice-captain)
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Ruan Botha
4. Michael Rhodes
3. Pat Cilliers
2. Deon Fourie
1. Alistair Vermaak (Super Rugby starting debut for the DHL Stormers)
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Oli Kebble
18. Brok Harris
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Siya Kolisi
21. Dylon Frylinck (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
22. Peter Grant
23. Kobus van Wyk
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)