Kitshoff to lead DHL Stormers against Lions

PUBLISHED: May 30, 2019

Steven Kitshoff will captain the DHL Stormers in their Vodacom Super Rugby encounter with the Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The experienced prop takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Siya Kolisi who will miss the clash which kicks off at 17h15 on Saturday at Emirates Airline Park.

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Kolisi (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (shoulder) and Kobus van Dyk (knee) have all been ruled out due to injuries, which have resulted in a number of changes to the DHL Stormers forward pack.

In the loose trio Sikhumbuzo Notshe will start at No.8, with Jaco Coetzee shifting to openside flank and Johan du Toit on the other side of the scrum.

Eben Etzebeth returns after being sidelined through illness last week and takes his place in the second row alongside Cobus Wiese.

The only change to the front row is a rotation at tighthead prop, with Wilco Louw in the starting line-up and Frans Malherbe set to make an impact in the second half.

The only changes to the replacements bench see the return of fit-again utility forward Ernst van Rhyn and a potential DHL Stormers debut for loose forward Marno Redelinghuys.

The backline remains unchanged from the combination that featured in the 34-22 win against the Highlanders at DHL Newlands last week.

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DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that the focus this week has been on ensuring the players are in the right space physically and mentally for the challenge.

“We want to keep building on our performances every week and this is another great opportunity for us to show what we are capable of.

“The focus has been to assemble a playing group that is primed and ready both physically and mentally for what we will face on Saturday. There is no doubting the motivation within the group,” he said.

DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marno Redelinghuys (DHL Stormers debut), 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel.