Nizaam Carr will lead the DHL Stormers into action for the first time, as the 2015 SA Conference winners face up to the Sharks in both teams’ final Vodacom Super Rugby league match of the season in Durban on Saturday (kick-off 19h10).
Carr will line up at No.8 in a much-changed DHL Stormers team from last weekend, the new skipper the only surviving starting player from his team’s 19-19 draw against the Lions at DHL Newlands.
There are three DHL Stormers debutants in the matchday 23, with Robert du Preez starting at No.15 in his first taste of Super Rugby action and flanker Sikhumbuzo Notshe and hooker Michael Willemse making their first starts at this level.
Lock Jan de Klerk and scrumhalf Godlen Masimla will be looking to earn their first caps from the bench, whilst vice-captain Jaco Taute (inside centre – in his 50th overall Super Rugby appearance), Michael Rhodes (No.7) and Kobus van Wyk (on the bench) are back in the mix following their injury lay-offs.
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee explained his selections on the www.iamastormer.com website: “We have a great opportunity here to give game time to some fringe players and to continue to increase the capacity within our squad.
“Players like Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Manny Carizza, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Nic Groom, Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Dillyn Leyds and Cheslin Kolbe have played a lot of rugby and deserve a break.
“However, the likes of Oli Kebble, Vincent Koch, Ruan Botha, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute, Johnny Kotze – to name just a few – are by no means second-string players and they all have a massive opportunity to play for starting positions.
“We’re in a fortunate position to be able to select a talented group of players who have everything to play for against a Sharks team that will be fired up and looking to finish their season on a high.
“The Sharks are also saying goodbye to three big players, loyal servants, so we’re expecting a brutal clash and (we) know we need to be up for this match – physically and mentally.”
The DHL Stormers team to face the Sharks (away) is as follows:
15. Robert du Preez (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
14. Johnny Kotze
13. Huw Jones
12. Jaco Taute (vice-captain)
11. Pat Howard
10. Kurt Coleman
9. Louis Schreuder
8. Nizaam Carr (captain)
7. Michael Rhodes
6. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Super Rugby starting debut for the DHL Stormers)
5. Ruan Botha
4. Jean Kleyn
3. Vincent Koch
2. Michael Willemse (Super Rugby starting debut for the DHL Stormers)
1. Oli Kebble
16. Neil Rautenbach
17. Ali Vermaak
18. Wilco Louw
19. Jan de Klerk (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
20. Siya Kolisi
21. Godlen Masimla (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
22. Seabelo Senatla
23. Kobus van Wyk
Referee: Glen Jackson
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman, Archie Sehlako
TMO: Marius Jonker