There are two changes to the Vodacom Stormers’ starting XV for this weekend’s Vodacom Super 14 clash with the Waratahs in Sydney.
Amongst the pack, tight head Brok Harris makes his return after missing last week’s match against the Brumbies with an ankle injury sustained in the win over the Hurricanes.
Harris replaces Eddie Andrews, who returns to South Africa on Wednesday morning after suffering a broken nose last weekend. Andrews will be replaced in the squad by Tommy Dixon.
The other change in the run-on XV is at fullback where Brent Russell returns in place of Gio Aplon. Russell was concussed in the match against the Hurricanes two weeks ago and has been given the all clear to play by the medical team. Aplon does not feature in the match 22.
There are two changes amongst the reserves, Robbie Diack is preferred to Francois van der Merwe as loose forward cover, whilst Dylan Des Fountain, who joined the squad last week, is included in place of Egon Seconds.
The latter’s recurring hamstring injury has brought his Vodacom Super 14 tour to an early conclusion.
Seconds will also return home this week. Details on his replacement will be made known in due course.
Coach Kobus van der Merwe said he was confident that the side selected was capable of getting a result on Saturday.
“I am glad that we will be able to maintain consistency by making minimal changes. Brok’s injury responded well to treatment and he has worked hard to maintain his match fitness.
“He will play an important role in the front row. We will be looking to continue building on our scrumming performance and his contribution will be valuable.
“With Brent fit again we have opted to give him another opportunity to play. His counter-attacking ability from the back is one of his strong points and we hope he can put it to good use at the weekend”.
Van der Merwe described the loss of Andrews and Seconds as unfortunate.
“That is part of the game,” he said. “We are disappointed about Egon as he had recovered well but appears to have strained his troublesome hamstring again and we do not want to take any risks.
“Dylan will provide adequate cover and is a very versatile replacement,” Van der Merwe said.
Vodacom Stormers team:
15 Brent Russell
14 Breyton Paulse
13 Jean de Villiers
12 De Wet Barry
11 Corne Uys
10 Peter Grant
9 Bolla Conradie
8 Justin Melck
7 Schalk Burger
6 Luke Watson (C)
5 Gerrie Britz
4 Andries Bekker
3 Brok Harris
2 Schalk Brits
1 JD Moller
16 Huia Edmonds
17 Schalk Ferreira
18 Ross Skeate
19 Robbie Diack
20 JP Joubert
21 Naas Olivier
22 Dylan Des Fountain