Salmaan Moerat will captain a DHL Stormers team which features centre Alapati Leuia on debut against Zebre Parma at the Stadio Lanfranchi on Saturday.
There are a number of changes to the team for the first away match of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship season, which kicks off at 16h00 on Saturday in Parma.
Moerat is joined in the second row by Adre Smith, with Andre Hugo Venter at hooker and Willie Engelbrecht coming in on the flank in the other changes to the forward pack.
In the backline Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies makes his first start of the season, while there is an exciting new centre pairing as Leiua links up with Sacha Mngomezulu in midfield, with Damian Willemse moving to fullback.
Springbok lock Marvin Orie is on a replacements bench which also features Nama Xaba for the first time this season, along with scrumhalf Paul de Wet and centre Dan du Plessis who both started the first two games.
DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that he is looking forward to seeing some of the new combinations in action.
“This is a team full of potential, just looking at some of the combinations we have out there.
“It is fantastic to have someone of Salmaan’s stature to step in as captain and we are excited to see what the likes of Alapati, Sacha, Willie and Herschel can do as they all make their first starts of the campaign.
“We know it will be tough against a competitive Zebre side away from home, but preparations have gone well and we are looking forward to the challenge,” he said.
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Alapati Leuia, 12 Sacha Mngomezulu, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Adre Smith, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Dan du Plessis.