United Rugby Championship: Stormers add Damian Willemse while Ulster travel to Cape Town with unchanged XV

David Skippers

There is just one change to the Stormers team that defeated Edinburgh in the quarter-final last week, with Damian Willemse making his return from injury to take his place at inside centre for this URC last-four contest at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Seabelo Senatla will play his 50th game for the home side against Ulster. Senatla made his Stormers debut in 2014 and has also had a glittering Sevens career, scoring a record 230 tries for the Blitzboks.

The speedster missed the first four games of the United Rugby Championship season due to injury, but is still third on the try-scorers list with nine thus far.

He is also one of five Stormers players in the starting line-up for Saturday that were named in the United Rugby Championship 2021/22 Dream Team, along with Willemse, Evan Roos, Leolin Zas and Warrick Gelant.

Ulster stick with their quarter-final XV

The Ulstermen go into this clash unchanged from the side that defeated Munster in the quarter-finals last week.

The front-row sees Andrew Warwick and Tom O’Toole packing down either side of Rob Herring. Iain Henderson will skipper the side at second-row and will pair with Alan O’Connor.

Nick Timoney, who was named in the United Rugby Championship 2021/22 Dream Team, will line up at openside flanker with Marcus Rea named at blindside and Duane Vermeulen completes the pack at number eight.

John Cooney, who made his 100th appearance for Ulster last weekend, is selected at scrum-half to partner Billy Burns at fly-half. James Hume, who was also selected in the Dream Team, is named to partner Stuart McCloskey in midfield.

Stewart Moore, Ethan McIlroy and Rob Baloucoune complete the starting back three. 

Prediction: Stormers by 4

The teams:

Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c)
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu

Ulster: 15 Stewart Moore, 14 Rob Baloucoune, 13 James Hume, 12 Stuart McCloskey, 11 Ethan McIlroy, 10 Billy Burns, 9 John Cooney, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Nick Timoney, 6 Marcus Rea, 5 Iain Henderson (c), 4 Alan O’Connor, 3 Tom O’Toole, 2 Rob Herring, 1 Andrew Warwick
Replacements: 16 John Andrew, 17 Eric O’Sullivan, 18 Gareth Milasinovich, 19 Kieran Treadwell, 20 Matty Rea, 21 Nathan Doak, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Ben Moxham.

Date: Saturday, June 11
Venue: Cape Town Stadium
Kick-off: 15:00 local (14:00 BST, 13:00 GMT)
Referee: Mike Adamson (Scotland)
Assistant referees: Sam Grove-White (Scotland), Adam Jones (Wales)
TMO: Ben Whitehouse (Wales)

READ MORE: The short side: Premiership and URC semi-final showdowns and Bok back-row battle


Stormers excel despite the odds

The Stormers have put together an amazing season without significant resources.