Springbok number eight Duane Vermeulen returns to lead the Stormers in Saturday's derby with the Bulls in Cape Town.
Vermeulen missed the final two weeks of the Stormers’ Super Rugby tour as part of the SA franchises’ rest agreement with SA Rugby, but his return marks one of four changes to the starting line-up that defeated the Western Force in Perth last Saturday.
Two of the four changes are injury enforced, with Johnny Kotze and Pat Howard replacing the injured wing duo of Kobus van Wyk (knee – six weeks) and Dillyn Leyds (shoulder – one week), respectively. Howard will make his Super Rugby debut, with Kotze set to win his sixth cap.
Nizaam Carr moves to the bench to make way for Vermeulen’s expected return to action, whilst the fourth and final change sees Nic Groom take over at scrum-half from Louis Schreuder, who, like Carr, reverts to the bench.
Joining Carr and Schreuder amongst the replacements is prop Oli Kebble, with Ali Vermaak – along with Sikhumbuzo Notshe – doing duty for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team this weekend.
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20. Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Date: Saturday, April 25
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape town
Kick-off: 19:10 (17:10 GMT, 03:10 AEST, 05:10 NZST)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Jason Jaftha, Francois Pretorious
TMO: Shaun Veldsman