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Habana back for Stormers

24th April 2013 08:18

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Back in business: Bryan Habana

Springbok wing Bryan Habana returns to the Stormers starting line-up for Friday's clash against the Hurricanes in Palmerston North.

The return of Habana is one of just three changes to the side that beat the Sharks two weeks ago, with Damian de Allende dropping to the bench and Gio Aplon shifting across to the right wing.

Habana, the South Africa's most-capped Test winger, is back to full fitness after sustaining a knee injury in early March.

Pat Cilliers will start at tighthead prop, in the only change up front, whilst forwards Scarra Ntubeni (hooker), Brok Harris (prop) and Rynhardt Elstadt (as lock and flank cover) and scrum-half Nic Groom join the matchday squad - on the bench - this week.

Ntubeni - who picked up a shoulder injury during pre-season training - will make his first appearance of the season should he take to the field on Friday, whilst Elstadt is also back from a shoulder niggle after missing the Cheetahs and Sharks clashes.

Louis Schreuder will provide fly-half cover from the bench, with Stormers coach Allister Coetzee opting to give Elton Jantjies one more week to be ready for the clash against the Blues in Albany on Friday, May 3.

"Elton trained well this week," said Coetzee. "I said earlier in the week that he was at 80 percent, but we want to ensure that he has a full week of training next week and that we have him ready for the Blues match.

"Prop Frans Malherbe is also getting a break this week, mainly as part of our rotation policy, but also to rest a slight AC Joint injury which he suffered against the Sharks."

Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Rynhardt Elstadt, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Nic Groom, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Damian de Allende

Date: Friday, April 26
Venue: FMG Stadium, Palmerston North
Kick-off: 19:35 local (08:35 BST, 07:35 GMT)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Mike Fraser (New Zealand), Sheldon Eden-Whaitiri (New Zealand)
Television match official: Vinny Munro (New Zealand)

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