DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has made three changes ahead of Saturday’s all-South African Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17h05).
One of the changes sees Nizaam Carr replace Schalk Burger at No.6, the latter being rested as part of the SA Franchises’ agreement with SA Rugby and Carr winning his 50 DHL Stormers cap in the process.
In the second change up front, Vincent Koch gets a start at tighthead prop with Frans Malherbe reverting to the bench, whilst Nic Groom and Louis Schreuder swap between the No.21 and No.9 jerseys, respectively (with Groom starting this week), in the only change to the backline.
On the bench, meanwhile, Oli Kebble comes in for Ali Vermaak – joining Malherbe as one of the two replacement props, and DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup star Sikhumbuzo Notshe will provide loose forward cover.
The DHL Stormers are currently in first position on the SA Conference log, with nine wins from 13 games, and will be looking to make it 10 from 14 with just one home league match remaining this season.
The Cheetahs beat the DHL Stormers 25-17 in Bloemfontein earlier this month, the Men from the Cape having won 33-0 the last time these two teams met at DHL Newlands (on May 24, 2014).
DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com: “We need to perform and get the points this weekend to ensure we remain in contention for the Vodacom Super Rugby play-offs.
“We want to consolidate (on) our systems and ensure we keep winning, but, in order to do that, we will continue to focus on our own game and ensure we limit our mistakes against a Cheetahs team that will punish us if we are not accurate – as they did against us in Bloemfontein.
“It’s a big game for the Cheetahs, they always look forward to this fixture – against the DHL Stormers in Cape Town. They will be up for it and we need to ensure we’re up for it too – both mentally and physically.”
Saturday’s match, the DHL Stormers’ second last home league game of 2015, will double up as a celebration match as the Western Province Rugby Football Union commemorates Newlands Rugby Stadium’s 125th year of existence, as well as 23 years of unity within the WPRFU.
Newlands Rugby Stadium is regarded as one of the most iconic rugby venues in the world, having hosted some memorable matches over the years – at international, Super Rugby and Currie Cup level, with some great players, both locally and from abroad, having been in action on its hallowed turf.
Match tickets, priced between R80 and R140, can still be purchased ahead of Saturday’s matches at DHL Newlands (including the 2015 Vodacom Cup Final) – with DHL Western Province hosting the Pumas in the Vodacom Cup Final beforehand (kick-off 14h10) – either online, at http://wprugby.computicket.com, or from Computicket outlets and Shoprite & Checkers stores nationwide.
The DHL Stormers team to face the Cheetahs (home) is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Seabelo Senatla
13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Dillyn Leyds
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (captain)
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Nizaam Carr (50th cap for DHL Stormers)
5. Manuel Carizza
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Vincent Koch
2. Scarra Ntubeni
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Bongi Mbonambi
17. Oli Kebble
18. Frans Malherbe
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Huw Jones
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha (South Africa), Francois Pretorius (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa