DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck has made four changes and a positional switch in the starting XV to face the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands.
There is just one injury-enforced change to the backline, with Kurt Coleman stepping up at flyhalf in the absence of Rob du Preez who has been ruled out for up to 12 weeks with a knee injury. This means that the talented Jean-Luc du Plessis could make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut if he comes off the bench to replace Coleman.
In the front row props JC Janse van Rensburg and Frans Malherbe get their first opportunity to start this season, with Oli Kebble and Vincent Koch taking their respective places on the replacements bench.
Siya Kolisi will also get his first start of the Vodacom Super Rugby season, with Schalk Burger taking the No.8 jersey and Nizaam Carr moving to No.6 in place of Sikhumbuzo Notshe who is set for an impact role off the bench.Fleck said that he is excited to see what the new players in the starting line-up can add after performing convincingly as replacements in the wins against the Vodacom Bulls and Free State Cheetahs.
“All of the players coming into the starting line-up have made an impact off the bench for us this season, and hopefully they can lay a good platform on Saturday,” he said.
Although disappointed about losing the services of Du Preez, Fleck said that he has been encouraged by Coleman’s performances off the bench this season, and is excited to see what Du Plessis can offer should he get the opportunity.
“Kurt showed his mettle to come on and help close out the game in Bloemfontein last week, so we are backing him to step up again. Jean-Luc is a talented player with a bright future and he deserves this opportunity,” he added.
Make sure you book your tickets early for the DHL Stormers’ coastal clash with the Cell C Sharks at DHL Newlands on Saturday, March 12.
After consultation with City of Cape Town Health Officials and in line with legislation, no smoking of any kind will be allowed in the stadium which has been declared a non-smoking facility.
Previously the stadium featured four designated smoking areas in the corners of the ground, with smoking in the stands prohibited, but this is no longer allowed and all forms of smoking (including e-cigarettes) in any part of the stadium now in contravention of the stadium rules.
DHL Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan de Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Nic Groom, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Huw Jones.