Stormers make four changes

Date published: March 10 2016

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has made four changes, including a positional switch, to his starting line-up for Saturday's clash with the Sharks at Newlands.

There is just one injury-enforced change to the backline, with Kurt Coleman stepping in at fly-half in the absence of Robert du Preez who has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a knee injury. 

This means that the talented Jean-Luc du Plessis could make his Super Rugby debut if he comes off the bench.

In the front row, props JC Janse van Rensburg and Frans Malherbe get their first opportunity to start this season, with Oli Kebble and Vincent Koch taking their respective places on the replacements bench.

Siya Kolisi will also get his first start of the Super Rugby season, with Schalk Burger taking the number eight jersey and Nizaam Carr moving to number six in place of Sikhumbuzo Notshe who is set for an impact role from the bench.

Fleck said that he is excited to see what the new players in the starting line-up can add after all performing convincingly as replacements in the wins against the Bulls and Free State Cheetahs.

“All of the players coming into the starting line-up have made an impact off the bench for us this season, and hopefully they can lay a good platform on Saturday,” he explained.

Although disappointed about losing Du Preez for the foreseeable future, Fleck said he has been encouraged by Coleman’s performances off the bench this season, and is excited to see what Du Plessis can offer should he get an opportunity.

“Kurt showed his mettle to come on and help close out the game in Bloemfontein next week, so we are backing him to step up again. Jean-Luc is a talented player with a bright future and he deserves this opportunity,” he added.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (cc), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (cc), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Huw Jones.

Date: Saturday, March 12
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17:15 local (15:15 GMT)
Referee: Mike Fraser
Assistant referees: Ben O’Keeffe, Stuart Berry
TMO: Marius Jonker