Stormers bring in Mbonambi, Carr

Date published: February 26 2015

Forwards Bongi Mbonambi and Nizaam Carr have been named in the Stormers starting XV for Saturday's clash with the Lions in Johannesburg.

Mbonambi will make his first start for the Stormers in a rotational change at hooker, with Scarra Ntubeni reverting to the bench, whilst Springbok loose forward Carr comes in for the injured Rynhardt Elstadt in the number six jersey.

Elstadt suffered a serious leg injury against the Blues last week – a game the Stormers won by 27-16 – and will be out of action for at least four months.

In other team news, meanwhile, Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe has been named on the bench following his recovery from a long-term leg injury and fit-again Argentine lock Manuel Carizza is back in the selection mix too after nursing a shoulder injury.

Carizza has not featured this year, after picking up an injury in pre-season action last month, whilst Malherbe suffered his ankle injury on Bok duty in August of last year.

The Stormers have made a strong start to the 2015 Super Rugby season, winning both their matches thus far – away to the Bulls and at home to the Blues.

However, head coach Allister Coetzee is not expecting any favours from the Lions who will be looking to register their first win of 2015.

“It’s our second challenge (early in the competition) at altitude and we’re expecting a very tough encounter against a desperate Lions team who are back at home again," he told the Stormers' official website.

“From our side we are looking for continuous improvement in our play. Yes, we have won two matches but we are not fully satisfied and know that we can get better – and must get better – if we are to build on our start.

“We need to front up and need all of our key men to be at their best for what will be a very challenging match.”

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 (c), 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Date: Saturday, February 28
Venue: Ellis Park, Johannesburg
Kick-off: 19.10 local (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Andrew Lees (Australia)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Stephan Geldenhuys (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)