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Burger skippers Stormers

07th May 2014 11:32

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Schalk Burger Stormers v Highlanders SR 2014

Skipper: Schalk Burger

Veteran back-row Schalk Burger captains a much-changed and youthful Stormers side for Saturday's derby clash with the Bulls.

Coach Allister Coetzee has been forced into making six changes to the starting lineup, with three players on debut in the matchday 23 - lock Jean Kleyn, and prop Alistair Vermaak and Dylon Frylinck who are both on the bench.

There are also six new faces among the replacements, with Steven Kitshoff (knee), Frans Malherbe (concussion), Oli Kebble (concussion), Jurie van Vuuren (shoulder), Michael Rhodes (assortment of knocks), Louis Schreuder (broken thumb), Jean de Villiers (AC Joint) and Kobus van Wyk (wrist) all dropping out with an assortment of injuries after last weekend's 29-28 win over the Highlanders.

The new players in the selection mix, either on the bench or in the starting XV, are Kleyn, Pat Cilliers, Vermaak, Martin Dreyer, Stephan Coetzee, Frylinck, Michael van der Spuy and Devon Williams, with Peter Grant, Cheslin Kolbe and Brok Harris promoted from the bench to starting roles.

Debutant Kleyn will partner his WP U21 lock-mate from last year, Ruan Botha, in the second-row, whilst UCT scrum-half Dylon Frylinck was the first-choice number nine for Western Province during the Vodacom Cup, having been promoted from the amateur ranks at the start of 2014.

Prop Vermaak - who is 25 years old - has been in the Province set-up for some time, but his game time has been limited to the Vodacom Cup only up until now.

Captain Burger, at 31, is the oldest player in the Stormers squad to face the Bulls this week - a 23-man group with an average age of just over 24. Cheslin Kolbe, who will make his first Super Rugby start this week, is the baby of the team at 20.

"Yes, this is a young team," agreed Coetzee, "but we have faith in the squad selected and every player has a chance to make an impact at one of the toughest venues in world rugby, Loftus Versfeld.

"We've been unlucky with injuries this week, you can't prevent concussion or broken noses and the like, but, at the same time it's an exciting moment for the likes of Jean Kleyn, Alistair Vermaak and Dylon Frylinck - all of whom will be on debut."

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Damian de Allende, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Peter Grant, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jean Kleyn, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Brok Harris
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Deon Fourie, 21 Dylon Frylinck, 22 Michael van der Spuy, 23 Devon Williams

Date: Saturday 10th May
Venue: Loftus Versfeld
Kick-off: 2010 local, 1910 BST
Referee: Craig Joubert (SA)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe, Jaco van Heerden (both SA)
Television match official: Johan Greeff (SA)

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