The Stormers have made seven changes to their team ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Rebels at AAMI Park on Friday.
The Stormers have made seven changes to their team ahead of their Super Rugby clash with the Rebels at AAMI Park in Melbourne on Friday.
Two of the changes are injury-enforced, with Rynhardt Elstadt and Duane Vermeulen out with knee problems, whilst those tour-ending injuries have also led to some positional switches.
In one of those changes, regular hooker Deon Fourie will move from the front-row to the flank, with Siya Kolisi shifting to the other side of the scrum and the exciting Nizaam Carr in at eight.
With Fourie on the flank, Currie Cup-winning hooker Scarra Ntubeni will make his first-ever Super Rugby start in the number two shirt. In a final change in the front-row, Pat Cilliers will start at tighthead prop in part of the rotation policy with Frans Malherbe, who reverts to jersey seventeen.
There is also a change at half-back for the Stormers, with Elton Jantjies and Louis Schreuder starting a game together for the first time at fly-half and scrum-half, respectively.
Fly-half Gary van Aswegen, who has started the past four games, drops to the bench where he is joined by Nic Groom who will be looking to make his first appearance of the tour. Scrum-half Dewaldt Duvenage will sit out altogether this week.
Groom, in turn, will be joined on the bench by lock Gerbrandt Grobler, who flew to Australia this week as injury cover, and hooker Martin Bezuidenhout. Flank/lock Don Armand and wing Gerhard van den Heever – who sat on the bench last week – make up the rest of the 22.
“Despite all the changes, some of them injury-enforced, this is an exciting team and we're determined to finish the tour on a high. We've trained well this week and we're looking forward to Friday's match,” Stormers coach Allister Coetzee told their official website.
The Stormers are still in Sydney and will transfer to Melbourne on Thursday ahead of Friday's match. They will fly back to South Africa on Saturday.
“They're a team with an all-out attacking mindset. They take the ball to the line and they're not scared to take risks,” Coetzee said of the Rebels.
“I don't think they'll change, they'll do the same. They have a strong set-piece – they have a good line-out, with tall players, and scrum well, their tighthead prop is a good player; so we know the dangers there.”
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (capt), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Date: Friday, May 17
Kick-off: 19:40 local (11:40 BST, 10:40 GMT)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
Referee: Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia), Ed Martin (Australia)
Television match official: Matt Goddard (Australia)