With so many of the Stormers players out injured this may be a very difficult match for them when the the Sunwolves on Saturday.
On the injury list they now have – Pieter-Steph du Toit, Notshe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Senatla and Willemse.
Etzebeth is out for six weeks which means his Super Rugby season is over with Willemse out for a month. Add to that Notshe with the already injured Kolisi, then you see how deep the injury problems are for the Cape side.
There are now three new players in the team for this weekend match in Edwill van der Merwe who will start on the wing while David Meihuizen and Chris Massyn will get their opportunity from the bench.
Leyds will move to fullback with Barry taking his place on the wing. Dan Kriel take over from De Allende who is rested this week.
Jean-Luc du Plessis will start at ten with both Jano Vermaak and EW Viljoen making their return from the bench.
In the front row Bongi Mbonambi are back from injury and will be along side Kitshoff and Malherbe.
In the second row we will see Chris van Zyl and Cobus Wiese packing down.
Fleck went with Jaco Coetzee, Johan du Toit and Ernst van Rhyn as his loose trio for the match.
The Sunwolves made five changes to their side with Dan Pryor misses out and is replaced by Shuhei Matsuhashi while Ryota Hasegawa also comes into the loose trio for Yoshitaka Tokunaga.
In the backs Timu will take over from Emery in the midfield.
The Stormers will have to get a good start against the Japanese side. The Sunwolves are at their best when they can force their open running rugby on teams.
With so many new players and combinations in the Stormers side one can just hope they can find their feet quickly in the game or we will be in for upset at Newlands.
The Stormers needs five points from this match to stand a chance to make the playoffs and they will have to give their all in the 80 minutes that lies ahead on Saturday or their season will be over.
For the Sunwolves it is all about pride now and that can be very dangerous because they have noting to loose.
Some Interesting Facts (OPTA)
- The Sunwolves were victorious in their most recent Super Rugby fixture against the Stormers (May 2018), coming from behind at half-time to win 26-23 and snapping a four-game winless run against the Cape Town side (D1, L3) in the process.
- The Stormers have lost just one of their last seven games at home in Super Rugby (W5, D1), and are undefeated in their last three (W2, D1).
- The Sunwolves have lost their last seven games on the bounce in Super Rugby, conceding an average of 40 points per game in that span.
- The Sunwolves (94%) and Stormers (83%) boast the two best goal-kicking accuracies of all teams in Super Rugby 2019.
- Dillyn Leyds (Stormers) has scored four tries and made three try assists in his last two Super Rugby games against the Sunwolves.
Prediction: Stormers should take this by 15 but anything can happen.
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)
Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Josh Stander, 23 EW Viljoen
Sunwolves: 15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard Van Den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Alex Woonton
Substitutes: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Timothy Lafaele, 23 Akihito Yamada