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Olivier and Britz to start

PUBLISHED: March 29, 2006


Flyhalf Naas Olivier will get his first Vodacom Super 14 start when the Vodacom Stormers face the Western Force at the Subciaco Oval in Perth on Friday.

The selection of Olivier in preference to Peter Grant is one of two changes to the starting XV that ran on against the Cheetahs in Cape Town two weeks ago. The other change sees Gerrie Britz starting at lock in place of Andries Bekker. Both Grant and Bekker will be on the bench on Friday.

In two changes on the bench, fit-again Joe van Niekerk returns for his first Super 14 fixture after a lengthy rehabilitation period and Jongi Nokwe is recalled to the bench after missing the Cheetahs match.

“We believe that Naas is best suited to the type of game we want to play against the Force,” said Coach Kobus van der Merwe. “On the two occasions that he came on off the bench he showed us that he is a quality player that can offer us a few different options. He is very composed and confident on the ball and has worked well with Bolla and Jean during the week and I am sure he will do well”

On the selection of Britz at lock, the coach said that it was again a case of the player offering a more options to the Stormers game. “Gerrie is very mobile and adds a new dimension with his pace around the park. We expect the game to be played at a swift pace and it is nice to have a player of Gerrie’s abilities who can hold his own in the lineouts and give you what you need in attacking play”

Van der Merwe said that he was keen to see Joe Van Niekerk back in action. “Joe has been fantastic this week. He has given 110% in all of the sessions and is dead keen to get back. He is looking fit and strong and was impressive in contact too.

“It will be great to give Jongi a run as well. He has worked very hard over the past few weeks and is determined to make an impact whilst on tour,” he said.

Friday’s match kicks off at 19h10 in Perth.

The Vodacom Stormers team is as follows:

15. Joe Pietersen
14. Tonderai Chavhanga
13. De Wet Barry (C)
12. Jean De Villiers
11. Marius Joubert
10. Naas Olivier
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Adri Badenhorst
7 Schalk Burger
6. Luke Watson
5. Gerrie Britz
4. Ross Skeate
3. Eddie Andrews
2. Schalk Brits
1. JD Moller

Reserves

16. Hanyani Shimange
17. Neil Fullard
18. Andries Bekker
19. Joe Van Niekerk
20. Neil De Kock
21. Peter Grant
22. Jongi Nokwe