The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit will make his long-awaited return from injury for the DHL Stormers in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA opener against the Cell C Sharks at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
Du Toit was originally sidelined with a leg injury at the end of February last year and will run out at 14h00 on Saturday in a starting line-up featuring seven Springboks which will be led by skipper Steven Kitshoff.
Lock Marvin Orie and No.8 Willie Engelbrecht will both play their first competitive match for the DHL Stormers in the coastal clash against the Durban side.
Du Toit and Engelbrecht are joined by openside flank Nama Xaba in the loose trio, while Orie is partnered by JD Schickerling at lock and the experienced trio of Kitshoff, Scarra Ntubeni and Frans Malherbe start in the front row.
Herschel Jantjies and Kade Wolhuter make an exciting halfback pairing, with Rikus Pertorius and Ruhan Nel in the midfield, while Damian Willemse, Seabelo Senatla and Edwill van der Merwe provide plenty of strike options out wide.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team are determined to start the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA on a positive note at their new home.
“This will be our first competitive match at our new home Cape Town Stadium and we want to ensure that we get some early momentum in this competition.
“The PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA is something we have all been looking forward to and our focus is on delivering a cohesive team performance that makes the most of the considerable talent we have running out for us on Saturday,” he said.
Please note that due to COVID-19 regulations there will be no supporters at the match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements (from): 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Dan du Plessis, 24 David Meihuizen, 25 Marcel Theunissen, 26 Leolin Zas.