Forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Nizaam Carr have been named in the DHL Stormers starting XV for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Emirates Airlines Park (kick-off 19h10).
Mbonambi will make his first start for the DHL Stormers in a rotational change at hooker, with Scarra Ntubeni reverting to the bench, whilst Springbok loose forward Carr comes in for the injured Rynhardt Elstadt in the No.6 jersey.
Elstadt suffered a serious leg injury against the Blues last week – a game the DHL Stormers won by 27-16 – and will be out of action for at least four months.
In other team news, meanwhile, Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe has been named on the bench following his recovery from a long-term leg injury and fit-again Argentine lock Manuel Carizza is back in the selection mix too after nursing a shoulder injury.
Carizza has not featured as yet this year, after picking up an injury in pre-season action last month, whilst Malherbe suffered his ankle injury on Bok duty in August of last year.
The DHL Stormers have made a strong start to the 2015 Super Rugby season, winning both their matches thus far – away to the Bulls and at home to the Blues.
However, head coach Allister Coetzee is not expecting any favours from the Lions who will be looking to register their first win of 2015.
Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “It’s our second challenge (early in the competition) at altitude and we’re expecting a very tough encounter against a desperate Lions team who are back at home again.
“From our side we are looking for continuous improvement in our play. Yes, we have won two matches but we are not fully satisfied and know that we can get better – and must get better – if we are to build on our start.
“We need to front up and need all of our key men to be at their best for what will be a very challenging match.”
* Meanwhile, young prop Wilco Louw – who has featured off the bench for the DHL Stormers this season – will be in action for the DHL Western Province Vodacom Cup team in a pre-season friendly at Sir Lowrians this evening. Louw is one of 11 DHL Stormers training squad members in action.
The DHL Stormers team to face the Lions (away) is as follows:
15. Cheslin Kolbe
14. Johnny Kotze
13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain)
12. Damian de Allende
11. Dillyn Leyds
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (captain)
7. Michael Rhodes
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Ruan Botha
4. Jurie van Vuuren
3. Vincent Koch
2. Bongi Mbonambi (Super Rugby starting debut for the DHL Stormers)
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Scarra Ntubeni
17. Oli Kebble
18. Frans Malherbe
19. Manuel Carizza
20. Siya Kolisi
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Kurt Coleman
23. Huw Jones
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)