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Stormers change five

03rd April 2013 11:38

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Michael Rhodes stormers training 2013

Stormers debut: Michael Rhodes

Former Lions flank Michael Rhodes will make his Stormers debut while Andries Bekker will win his 100th cap for the franchise in Saturday's clash with the Cheetahs at Free State Stadium in Bloemfontein.

Coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to the team that lost 14-19 to the Crusaders last week.

Of the five changes, one is positional and two are injury-enforced with Steven Kitshoff, Rhodes, Nic Groom and Jaco Taute all coming into the starting XV.

Kitshoff is back from his one-game suspension, whilst Rhodes and Taute replace Rynhardt Elstadt (shoulder) and Gerhard van den Heever (knee), respectively. Taute will line up at full-back, with Joe Pietersen shifting to the right wing.

Rhodes will make his Stormers debut in the number seven jersey, having played for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team in recent weeks.

Two other members of the WP Vodacom Cup team have also been elevated to the Stormers squad ahead of Saturday, with lock Gerbrandt Grobler (on debut) and fly-half Gary van Aswegen starting from the bench.

"We've seen how well the Crusaders did their homework and we know that we can expect the same from the Cheetahs," said Coetzee.

"This week we'll have to show improvement in all facets of the game if we want to do well against the Cheetahs. It's never easy in Bloemfontein, it's going to be a tough (South African) derby... but we need to focus on our game."

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Joe Pietersen, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Damian de Allende.

Date: Saturday, April 6
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17:05 (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Stuart Berry

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