The Rainbow Cup SA kicks off this weekend in Cape Town when the DHL Stormers host the Cell C Sharks at Cape Town Stadium.
With this pandemic it feels the last couple of months that we are always busy restarting the season. The last time these teams played was in the Currie Cup and it will be great to see how they start this competition.
All focus from now on will be to get our best players ready for the British & Irish Lions Tour to South Africa later this year.
The Stormers fans will be happy to see that 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year, Pieter-Steph du Toit is back in the Stormers side after he got injured last year in in January.
Along side Du Toit he will have no less than seven Springboks with him against the Sharks.
Stephen Kitshoff will lead the Cape side from the front row. Marvin Orie who joined WP from the Lions will make his first appearance for the Stormers with Willie Engelbrecht.
Du Toit, Engelbrecht and Xaba will form the loose trio for this weekend with Orie and Schickerling in the second row.
It is a all Springbok front row for the Stormers with Kitshoff, Ntubeni and Malherbe.
In the backs Jantjies will partner with Jade Wolhuter with Pretorius and Nel in the midfield.
The Stormers back three for this first round match will be Willemse at fullback with Senatla and Van der Merwe on the wings.
Stormers coach Dobson said his team wants to start on a positive note.
“This will be our first competitive match at our new home Cape Town Stadium and we want to ensure that we get some early momentum in this competition.
The Stormers will have to content with their former captain Siya Kolisi this weekend after the Springbok captain was named in the Sharks starting XV.
Reniel Hugo and Ruben van Heerden will be in the second row with Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Henco Venter and Siya Kolisi as the loose trio.
It is going to be great to see Pieter-Steph du Toit go up against Siya Kolisi on Saturday. This is a massive test for both packs this weekend in the first round of matches and something to really looking forward to from the set pieces to the battle on the ground.
Am will lead the Sharks from the midfield and he will be partnered by Jeremy Ward with Aphelele Fassi, Sibusiso Nkosi and Yaw Penxe as the back three for the Sharks.
Grant Williams will partner Bosch at halfback.
There is enough in both sides backs to run riot with ball in hand and two packs that will test each other for the full 80 minutes, so what can one asked for more in the first round of the Rainbow Cup?
The match is Live on SuperSport at 14:00 on Saturday, so do not miss out.
Prediction: Well we do not do that in opening rounds but this is too well balanced sides on paper.
DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Willie Engelbrecht, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Evan Roos, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Dan du Plessis, 24 David Meihuizen, 25 Marcel Theunissen, 26 Leolin Zas.
Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sibusiso Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am (captain), 12 Jeremy Ward, 11 Yaw Penxe, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Grant Williams, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Henco Venter, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Reniel Hugo, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Thomas du Toit, 2 Fez Mbatha, 1 Ox Nche.
Replacements: 16 Kerron van Vuuren, 17 Ntuthuko Mchunu, 18 Wiehahn Herbst, 19 JJ van der Mescht, 20 Phepsi Buthelezi, 21 Sanele Nohamba, 22 Manie Libbok, 23 Werner Kok.