The Stormers have beefed up their backrow in a bid to front up against the physicality of the fearsome Bulls’ pack at Newlands on Saturday.
Lock Rynhardt Elstadt was named at blindside flank in the Stormers team on Wednesday for the north-south Super Rugby derby this weekend.
Elstadt replaces loose forward Nick Koster who will be used as an impact player instead.
“We have gone for Elstadt because we feel the change will be important for this match. It’s horses for courses,” said Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee.
“We’ve made this selection because we want to get parity up front.
“We know we have to be prepared for a physical onslaught, and we saw what happened to the Reds’ championship pack last week – the Bulls demolished them.”
Elstadt’s call-up meant that Duane Vermeulen was named at No 8, where he played his rugby throughout last season.
“Elstadt has played most of his Under-20 and Under-21 rugby at flank so he knows all about playing as a loose forward,” Coetzee said.
“His inclusion also gives us an added line-out option and it will enhance the athleticism of the pack.
“Rynhardt has just come off two matches in the Vodacom Cup so he is match ready.
“With him on the flank we feel we are in a position to negate one of the Bulls’ strengths.
“All in all, it simply means that we will go into this game with a big pack – not the biggest pack yet, and that is what you will need against the Bulls.”
Koster had been nursing an injury but Coetzee said his niggle had not influenced the team selection.
“Nick’s got a niggle but he will be fit for the weekend,” said Coetzee.
“I would never play a player who was not 100% fit, even from the substitiutes’ bench.”
Among other changes to the match-day squad, Coetzee recalled hooker Deon Fourie, at the expense of Scarra Ntubeni, and flyhalf Burton Francis, who replaces Gary van Aswegen.
Coetzee said Van Aswegen “turned” his ankle at training and would be out of action for a while.
He would miss out on the Australasian tour which gets under way next week.
After Saturday’s match, the Stormers will name a 26-man squad which will fly out on Sunday to New Zealand to start their four-match tour.
15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Nick Koster, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever
15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Akona Ndungane, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Wynand Olivier, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Morne Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard , 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques Potgieter, 6 CJ Stander, 5 Juandre Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Dean Greyling