Vermeulen returns to lead Stormers

Date published: March 31 2015

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Duane Vermeulen will assume the Stormers captaincy, as well as the number eight jersey, when they face the Hurricanes in Wellington on Friday.

The influential number eight missed last week’s 21-39 loss to the Highlanders in Dunedin as part of the SA franchises’ rest agreement with SA Rugby, but he returns this week in one of two changes to the Stormers starting XV.

The second change, also up front, sees fellow Springbok hardman Eben Etzebeth take over the number four jersey from Jean Kleyn, the latter dropping out of the matchday squad altogether – along with Nizaam Carr, who did duty at number eight last weekend.

On the bench, meanwhile, lock Ruan Botha will take over the number 19 jersey vacated by Etzebeth in an otherwise unchanged replacements’ unit.

The Stormers and ‘Canes have met on New Zealand soil on seven previous occasions, with the Men from the Cape holding a narrow 4-3 head-to-head advantage – including a nailbiting 18-16 victory in Palmerston North in 2013.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (c), 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ruan Botha, 20 Michael Rhodes, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Date: Friday, April 3
Kick-off: 19:35 local (06.35 GMT, 17:35 AEDT, 08:35 SAST)
Venue: Wellington Regional Stadium
Referee: Rohan Hoffmann (Australia)
Assistant referees: Kane McBride (New Zealand), Mike Lash (New Zealand)
Television match official: Chris Wratt (New Zealand)

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