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De Villiers back to lead Stormers

10th July 2013 11:52

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Jean de Villiers Stormers skipper 2013

Jean de Villiers: Starts at 12

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers has recovered from his sternum injury and will lead the Stormers against the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.

De Villiers has missed the Stormers' last two wins, over the Cheetahs and the Kings, but his return to the starting line-up is one of five changes (one of which is positional) ahead of Saturday's meeting with the newly-crowned SA Conference winners.

The return of De Villiers sees Damian de Allende drop to the bench, whilst, in other changes, Gio Aplon shifts from wing to full-back (in place of the injured Joe Pietersen), Gerhard van den Heever comes onto the right wing, Gary van Aswegen will start at fly-half and Rynhardt Elstadt returns at blindside flank.

Speaking about the return of De Villiers and the selection of Van Aswegen, Stormers boss Coetzee explained: "Jean is the captain and the incumbent number 12, the plan was always to bring him straight back if he was fit.

"With Gio at full-back, a left-footer, bringing in Gary at fly-half gives us the important option of having the combination of a left and right-footed kicker (in our back-line)."

Don Armand and Elton Jantjies join De Allende (who has recovered from an ankle niggle) on the bench this week, whilst Springbok prop Pat Cilliers - who, like Elstadt made his return to action last week against the Kings - is named amongst the replacements once again.

Record-breaking wing Bryan Habana will be playing in his final match for the Stormers, which will be his 57th appearance for the franchise, having scored 18 tries in the process.

Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Damian de Allende.

Date: Saturday, July 13
Kick-off: 19:10 local (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Venue: Newlands
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)

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PosTeamPPts
1Sharks1650
2Bulls1638
3Stormers1632
4Lions1631
5Cheetahs1624