DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has announced his starting line-up for Friday’s pre-season friendly against the Kings in Port Elizabeth (kick-off 19h00).
Flanker Schalk Burger will captain the team this week, with Jaco Taute lining up at fullback and Argentina lock Manuel Carizza making his first appearance for the DHL Stormers.
Taute will be joined in the back three by Scott van Breda – who scored the winning try in Polokwane last weekend – and Kobus van Wyk who gets another run in the No.14 jersey.
Squad captain Jean de Villiers gets a complete break this weekend, with Damian de Allende and Michael van der Spuy starting at centre and Nic Groom will start at scrumhalf.
The only change up front this week sees Carizza – who is over his groin niggle – replace Ruan Botha in the No.5 jersey, whilst replacements Sikhumbuzo Notshe (loose forward) and Devon Williams (wing) join the extended matchday squad this week.
Botha will sit out this week after taking a knock to his head against the Bulls, whilst coach Coetzee also revealed on Tuesday that centre Juan de Jongh would undergo a scope after picking up a knee injury in Polokwane.
De Jongh will be out of action for at least six weeks.
Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “Juan has a slight tear in his lateral meniscus, so he will be scoped today (Tuesday) and then we will know his fate. But I can say that he will be out for a minimum of six weeks.
“It happened during the game (against the Bulls) and he was pulled off at half-time. It didn’t seem to be that serious… but obviously it was.”
Looking ahead to this Friday – after last Saturday’s 26-19 win over the Bulls in Polokwane – Coetzee concluded: “The whole idea last week wasn’t about winning, it was about giving players game-time… it was about getting the things we have worked on for the past seven weeks right.
“It will be the same this weekend – making sure that we are internally focused. We want to do what we have been (doing at) training.
“It’s a different challenge against the Kings, but it was good to test ourselves against a quality franchise like the Bulls.
“There are things that we will be looking to improve on this week. They are also a side that loves to maul, so we will be tested there again and we would like to see our improvement.
“We want to see an improvement at the breakdown, they will have a go at the breakdown and I want to see how we handle and deal with that.”
The DHL Stormers team for Friday’s pre-season friendly (v the Kings) is as follows:
15. Jaco Taute
14. Kobus van Wyk
13. Michael van der Spuy
12. Damian de Allende
11. Scott van Breda
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Schalk Burger (captain)
6. Siya Kolisi
5. Manuel Carizza
4. Rynhardt Elstadt
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Scarra Ntubeni
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Deon Fourie
17. Oli Kebble
18. Pat Cilliers
19. Michael Rhodes
20. Jean Kleyn
21. Nizaam Carr
22. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
23. Louis Schreuder
24. Gary van Aswegen
25. Pat Howard
26. Devon Williams
27. Ryno Eksteen
Referee: Stuart Berry