Injuries have forced two late changes to the Vodacom Stormers starting XV for the match against the Hurricanes on Saturday evening.
Hooker Schalk Brits has been promoted to the starting line-up after it was confirmed on Thursday that Tiaan Liebenberg had broken a bone in his right hand during a scrumming session. In the other change, winger Conrad Jantjes has withdrawn with a recurring thigh injury.
Both Liebenberg and Jantjes will return to South Africa in Sunday and will be replaced by Huia Edmonds and Dylan Des Fountain respectively.
Liebenberg will be on the reserves bench on Saturday, whilst Gio Aplon will replace Jantjes in the starting XV. Naas Olivier comes into the match 22, replacing Aplon on the bench.
“Tiaan is devastated,” said coach Kobus van der Merwe. “He was looking forward to the rest of this tour and did not allow uncertainty over the injury to dampen his enthusiasm. He trained full out on Tuesday and Wednesday and there was an outside chance he would be able to start. However, x-rays showed that he had broken a bone in his hand which will need further attention.
“Conrad’s withdrawal is a setback as he appeared to have recovered from the injury he sustained two weeks ago”.
Van der Merwe said he did not foresee the late changes affecting the team’s preparations for Saturday.
15 Brent Russell, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (capt), 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Gerrie Britz, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller. Reserves: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Eddie Andrews, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Francois vd Merwe, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Corne Uys, 22 Naas Olivier.