Liebenberg to start for Stormers

Date published: July 9 2014

Stormers coach Allistair Coetzee has made one change to his starting XV for Saturday's clash against the Sharks in Cape Town.

Stormers coach Allistair Coetzee has made just one change to his starting XV for Saturday's clash against the Sharks in Cape Town.

The only change to the run-on side that beat the Bulls 16-0 last weekend sees Springbok Tiaan Liebenberg take over the number two jersey from the injured Deon Fourie.

Fourie has not recovered from the hamstring injury which forced him off the field against the Bulls and his unavailability sees young Stephan Coetzee come on to the bench as replacement hooker.

Coetzee, of course, started at hooker when the Stormers and Sharks last met – on May 31 – so he is no stranger to this level of rugby, having already played six matches this season.

Schalk Burger will again lead the team from the number seven jersey, before he leaves for Japan until the start of the 2015 Super Rugby tournament, whilst right-wing Gio Aplon, himself back to full fitness after a long lay-off with an elbow injury, will make his last appearance for the Stormers before taking up a contract with French club Grenoble.

The Stormers are on something of a hot streak at present, after four victories in succession – including an away win over the selfsame Sharks at the end of May – and having not tasted defeat since May 10.

Looking ahead to Saturday, however, coach Coetzee warned against any form of complacency against a hungry Sharks team searching for a big victory and, with it, a top-two finish on the overall Super Rugby log.

“We need to focus on ourselves, and not (on) the Sharks,” Coetzee told the Stormers' official website.

“The important thing for us is to pitch up like we have the past few weeks – like we did against the Bulls (last week) – and to show that same kind of intensity.

“Like I said at the start of last week, these last two games are very important for us – but this last one is probably the most important one because that is where you leave your last impressions.

“We definitely would like to end the 2014 season on a high. If we don't get the result it will be a bit of a setback (for us).”

Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Sailosi Tagicakibau, 12 Juan de Jongh, 11 Cheslin Kolbe, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger (c), 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Michael Rhodes, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Martin Dreyer, 19 Manuel Carizza, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Seabelo Senatla.

Date: Saturday, July 12
Venue: Newlands Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19:10 local time (18:10 BST, 17:10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Lourens van der Merwe (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match official: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)