Deon Fourie will captain the DHL Stormers in Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby encounter against the Cheetahs at DHL Newlands (kick-off 19h15).
Absa Currie Cup-winning captain Fourie, who will wear the No.7 jersey this weekend, takes over the team captaincy from injured Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers (sternum).
De Villiers, in turn, will be replaced in the No.13 jersey by fellow Bok Juan de Jongh in the only change to the starting line-up that defeated the Kings 19-11 on June 1.
Meanwhile, in two changes to the bench from the DHL Stormers’ last Super Rugby appearance, hooker Scarra Ntubeni and prop Ross Geldenhuys (on debut) replace Martin Bezuidenhout and Chris Heiberg, respectively.
“The Cheetahs have everything to play for. They’re a good team, they’ve done well in the tournament and they have play-off possibilities,” said DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee.
“They’ve developed a few Springboks in their squad, so they’re a quality side. We know we’re in for a tough game.”
Speaking about the DHL Stormers’ last three league matches, in what has been a tough season up till now, Coetzee added: “It’s not a case of the competition being over for us. We’re a proud DHL Stormers team and, who knows, with some showers of blessings something might happen?
“We’re definitely not happy with our (11th-place) position on the log, therefore, the next three games are really important to make sure we improve that.
“We have a proud record at home and we want to keep that intact,” said the Stormers coach. “The players are looking forward to the next three derbies and they’re keen to play.”
* Tickets are still available for Saturday’s match and can be purchased at the DHL Newlands ticket office (until matchday), PostNet outlets and online at wprugby.ticketpros.co.za.
The DHL Stormers team to take on the Cheetahs is as follows:
15. Joe Pietersen
14. Gio Aplon
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Damian de Allende
11. Bryan Habana (vice-captain)
10. Elton Jantjies
9. Louis Schreuder
8. Nizaam Carr
7. Deon Fourie (captain)
6. Siya Kolisi
5. De Kock Steenkamp
4. Eben Etzebeth
3. Brok Harris
2. Tiaan Liebenberg
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Ross Geldenhuys (On debut for the DHL Stormers)
18. Gerbrandt Grobler
19. Don Armand
20. Dewaldt Duvenage
21. Gary van Aswegen
22. Gerhard van den Heever
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)