Fit-again Springbok centre Juan de Jongh will start at outside centre for the DHL Stormers in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the unbeaten Brumbies (kick-off 19h10).
De Jongh will play in his first competitive match of the 2013 season, having picked up a hamstring injury during a pre-season match against the Cheetahs early last month.
The return of De Jongh, for this clash at DHL Newlands, will see captain Jean de Villiers shift to inside centre, with youngster Damian de Allende warming the bench after starting three matches in succession.
Other changes to the DHL Stormers backline – from the side that started against the Chiefs two weeks ago – see Gerhard van den Heever come in for his first start, as a replacement for the injured Bryan Habana, whilst Dewaldt Duvenage takes over at scrumhalf from Nic Groom, who will revert to the bench.
There is just one change to the Stormers pack, with Springbok Tiaan Liebenberg, who made his comeback from the bench against the Chiefs, taking over at hooker and Deon Fourie starting amongst the replacements.
Joining Fourie, Groom and De Allende on the bench this week is Springbok back Jaco Taute – back in action again after taking a knock to his groin region against the Bulls in the Stormers’ opening match of 2013.
In injury news, however, flyhalf Peter Grant (ankle) will be out of action for three to four weeks.
“Peter is battling with a mild case of syndesmosis in his ankle,” said Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee. “Hopefully he will be fit to tour (Australasia next month), but Dewaldt (Duvenage) will provide flyhalf cover this week.”
Looking ahead to Saturday, Coetzee added: “The Brumbies are the pace-setters in the 2013 Super Rugby tournament – it will be a tough game against a quality side, but we’re looking forward to the challenge (of playing against a quality outfit).
“Their set-piece is good, they put the opposition under pressure with ball in hand and it will be a good challenge for our defensive system and defence line. Technically, the Brumbies have been good, as they showed against the Sharks, but people tend to be overlooking the fact that this Brumbies side is a physical unit too.”
Tickets are still available for Saturday’s match and can be purchased at the DHL Newlands ticket office (right up until kick-off), PostNet outlets and online at wprugby.ticketpros.co.za.
The DHL Stormers team to take on the Brumbies is as follows:
15. Joe Pietersen
14. Gio Aplon
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Jean de Villiers (captain)
11. Gerhard van den Heever
10. Elton Jantjies
9. Dewaldt Duvenage
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Rynhardt Elstadt
6. Siya Kolisi
5. Andries Bekker
4. De Kock Steenkamp
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Tiaan Liebenberg
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Deon Fourie
17. Pat Cilliers
18. Don Armand
19. Nizaam Carr
20. Nic Groom
21. Damian de Allende
22. Jaco Taute
Referee: Glen Jackson