Springbok captain Jean de Villiers is back in the DHL Stormers line-up in one five changes to the team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Lions at DHL Newlands (kick-off 17h05).
De Villiers resumes the team captaincy from Duane Vermeulen and will line up at inside centre, with Damian de Allende shifting back to the right-wing – in place of the injured Kobus van Wyk – for the DHL Stormers’ second all-South African encounter of the season.
In other changes amongst the backs this week, Nic Groom and Demetri Catrakilis return to form a new-look halfback combination for the Stormers, with Peter Grant shifting to fullback and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder and fullback Jaco Taute dropping down to the bench.
The DHL Stormers pack remains unchanged from their previous clash – against the Waratahs in Cape Town two weeks ago – but there are a number of additions amongst the replacements.
Joining Schreuder and Taute on the bench this week are fit-again prop Pat Cilliers and lock Jurie van Vuuren – replacing the injured pair of Oli Kebble and Tazz Fuzani, respectively – whilst winger Devon Williams, the top try-scorer in the 2014 Vodacom Cup, comes into a Super Rugby matchday squad for the first time in his fledgling career.
“It’s obviously great to welcome back Jean de Villiers this week, but so too Pat Cilliers and Jurie van Vuuren from injury,” commented DHL Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.
“Jurie is part of a youthful bench, four of whom were still playing Under-21 rugby last season and two who are still eligible for the DHL WP U21 team this year.“We have never been afraid to give young players a chance at the DHL Stormers and it’s always an exciting time when someone is on the verge of making his debut as is the case with Devon.”
The DHL Stormers went down 10-34 to the Lions back in February and looking ahead to the return encounter Coetzee told the www.iamastormer.com website: “We know that the Lions are a quality side, as they showed against us in Johannesburg earlier this season.
“We were poor at managing the Lions’ contestable kicking game at Ellis Park and our line-out also didn’t function well enough. It’s a different venue, here at sea level, but we really have to ensure that our set-piece fires.”
The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Lions) is as follows:
15. Peter Grant
14. Damian de Allende
13. Juan de Jongh
12. Jean de Villiers (captain)
11. Sailosi Tagicakibau
10. Demetri Catrakilis
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen (vice-captain)
7. Siya Kolisi
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Michael Rhodes
4. Ruan Botha
3. Frans Malherbe
2. Deon Fourie
1. Steven Kitshoff
16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Pat Cilliers
18. Brok Harris
19. Jurie van Vuuren
20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe
21. Louis Schreuder
22. Devon Williams (On Super Rugby debut for the DHL Stormers)
23. Jaco Taute
Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)