Springboks Eben Etzebeth and Schalk Burger have both been named in the Stormers matchday squad for Saturday's clash with the Sharks at Newlands.
Etzebeth picked up a chest injury during pre-season action in late January and will make his first competitive appearance for the Stormers since July 2013, whilst Burger, named on the bench, is back in the selection mix after returning from his club rugby commitments in Japan.
Powerhouse lock Etzebeth comes in for the injured Jurie van Vuuren (shoulder) in the number four jersey, whilst Argentine international Manuel Carizza moves up from the bench to replace Ruan Botha (minor concussion) in the number five shirt.
In other changes to the starting XV, Siya Kolisi comes in on the blindside flank for his first start of 2015 in place of the hard-working Mike Rhodes, who suffered a bang to the knee during last week’s dramatic 22-19 away win over the Lions, whilst Scarra Ntubeni starts at hooker in place of Bongi Mbonambi, an 11th hour withdrawal after sustaining a shoulder injury at training.
Burger thus moves onto the bench following Kolisi’s promotion to the starting XV, with the former joined amongst the replacements by Alistair Vermaak (in for Oli Kebble) and a fit-again Jean Kleyn, the new lock replacement following Carizza’s elevation to the run-on side, and uncapped hooker Neil Rautenbach (in place of Ntubeni).
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Neil Rautenbach, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Date: Saturday, March 7
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.10 local (17.10 GMT, 06.10 NZST, 04.10 AEST)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Cwengile Jadezweni (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)