The Stormers are in Australia this week taking on the Reds in Brisbane after two defeats in New Zealand against the Hurricanes and Blues.
This will be an interesting contest with both teams starting to look to win at all cost to stay in the hunt for a playoff spot.
To add to the Stormers problems coach Robbie Fleck had to make a few changes to his side as well with Etzebeth, Du Toit and Du Plessis being send home.
All in all he had to make seven changes this week which sees a new front row in props Corne Fourie and Frans Malherbe on either side of hooker Scarra Ntubeni.
Michael Kumbirai will make his debut of the bench this weekend as Cobus Wiese will partner with Chris van Zyl in the second row.
Kobus van Dyk will form part of the loose trio with Siya Kolisi and Jaco Coetzee.
In the backs Justin Phillips gets his start and Ruan Nel also gets another start in the midfield.
“We have had a good week of preparations here and the players are looking forward to the opportunity this weekend,” coach Fleck said.
Reds coach Brad Thorn made three changes to his side that lost at home to the Rebels last week.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa will start at hooker this week.
Harry Hockings comes off the bench at lock, with Lukhan Salakaia-Loto shifting to the backrow to accommodate Scott-Young’s absence.
In the backline, Jack Hardy will make his Super Rugby starting debut for Queensland on the wing, as Sefa Naivalu moves to outside centre to cover for Feauai-Sautia.
There are also two changes to the reserves, with hooker Alex Mafi out of the starting side this week and lock Angus Blyth recalled into Queensland’s 23.
Some interesting facts (By: OPTA)
- The Stormers have won 10 of their last 13 Super Rugby games against the Reds, although they did lose on their most recent trip to Suncorp Stadium (March 2014)
- The last South African side to beat the Reds in Australia were the Sharks back in 2015, since when the Queensland side have won five such Super Rugby games on the spin.
- The Stormers have won four of their last five Super Rugby games in Australia; however, their last victory in the country came in July 2016.
- The Reds have scored eight tries in the final quarter of games this season, the joint-most of any team in the competition.
- Only Rahboni Warren-Vosayaco (76) has made more carries than Reds centre Samu Kerevi (74) this season in Super Rugby, Kerevi playing one game fewer than the Sunwolves backrower.
Prediction: Gut saying Stormers by 9
Reds – 15 Hamish Stewart, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Sefa Naivalu, 12 Samu Kerevi (c), 11 Jack Hardy, 10 Bryce Hegarty, 9 Tate McDermott, 8 Scott Higginbotham, 7 Liam Wright, 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Harry Hockings, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Ruan Smith, 2 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Alex Mafi, 17 Harry Hoopert, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Angus Blyth, 20 Fraser McReight, 21 Moses Sorovi, 22 Duncan Paia’aua, 23 Isaac Lucas.
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Justin Phillips, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Corne Fourie.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Michael Kumbirai (DHL Stormers debut), 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 SP Marais.
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