Duane leads Stormers


Allister Coetzee, the DHL Stormers head coach, has named his team to take on the Toyota Free State Cheetahs in Saturday’s pre-season friendly in Bloemfontein (kick-off 17h00).


In the absence of Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers, fellow Springbok Duane Vermeulen will lead this DHL Stormers XV into battle. Burger, Bekker and De Villiers – and the other injured or sick players – are all expected to feature against Boland next weekend.

Even without the trio of Burger, Bekker and De Villiers, eighthman Vermeulen will be one of seven capped Springboks in action for the Stormers on Saturday – including new faces Jaco Taute (at fullback) and Pat Cilliers (from the bench) and also experienced wing Bryan Habana, who will run out as vice-captain.

In all, nine players in the 24-man squad have not played for the DHL Stormers before, with Taute, Damian de Allende and new hooker Martin Bezuidenhout amongst the newbies in the starting line-up.

On the bench, meanwhile, youngsters Stephan Coetzee, Rayn Smid and Pat Howard (all from last year’s DHL WP Under-21 team) will be hoping for their first taste of action, along with other new faces, Ruan Botha and Michael Rhodes who moved to Cape Town last year.

* Saturday’s match will be televised live on SuperSport One. The Stormers will start their 2013 Vodacom Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls on Friday, February 22.

The DHL Stormers team to take on the Toyota Free State Cheetahs is as follows:

15. Jaco Taute

14. Gio Aplon

13. Juan de Jongh

12. Damian de Allende

11. Bryan Habana (vice-captain)

10. Kurt Coleman

9. Louis Schreuder

8. Duane Vermeulen (captain)

7. Don Armand

6. Nizaam Carr

5. De Kock Steenkamp

4. Eben Etzebeth

3. Frans Malherbe

2. Martin Bezuidenhout

1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements (from):

16. Stephan Coetzee

17. Pat Cilliers

18. Ruan Botha

19. Michael Rhodes

20. Rayn Smid

21. Dewaldt Duvenage

22. Pat Howard

23. Gerhard van den Heever

24. Joe Pietersen

Referee: Lourens van der Merwe

Facebook Comments


  1. Coach Naka Drotske playing Messerschmitt-Willie LeRoux in a meaningless warm-up would be akin to taking a Bentley out on safari.

  2. Reply to Vetgesmeerde Blits @ 7:27 pm: DOn’t know how playing second string teams can be a confidence booster, people read to much into these games, this is practise games and must be seen like that, cracked myself when I saw how the cheetahs went on after kicking the final kick to win the game, looked like they won teh Super Rugby.

    Cheetahs will struggle again this year like the kings will and the Stormers, Bulls and Sharks will be their and their abaout.

    Cheetahs do not have the backup simple as that.

  3. Reply to Jacques(Bunny)Die wat nie hier is nie is elders!! @ 11:03 am:

    This was hardly a second string Stormers team. 8 of the starting 15 have a very good chance of being first choice in their respective positions this year. If anything the Cheetahs team were missing more first choice players than the Stormers.

    If you think the Cheetahs will not be a more confident after beating the Currie Cup and Conference champions you are surely mistaken. By playing and winning teams build momentum and confidence a loss to the Stormers would have made it 2 losses from 2.

    I agree that you shouldn’t read too much into these games, but they do mean something.

    It was interesting to read than Adriaan Strauss reckons this years Cheetah squad is the strongest he has ever been part of. Lets hope the can end better than 10th.