EW Viljoen will make his DHL Stormers Vodacom Super Rugby debut in the clash against the Vodacom Bulls at DHL Newlands on Saturday.
The 21-year-old will line up at outside centre for a DHL Stormers team that will be led by new captain Siya Kolisi in the final match of the opening round which kicks off at 19h30 on Saturday.
Fullback SP Marais will also be playing in his first Vodacom Super Rugby game for the DHL Stormers and forms part of a back three which includes Cheslin Kolbe and Dillyn Leyds out wide.
Viljoen will be partnered by Damian de Allende in midfield, with the experienced Jano Vermaak forming an exciting halfback combination with playmaker Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Kolisi is joined in the loose trio by Nizaam Carr and Rynhardt Elstadt, whilst vice-captain Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit will be in the second row and up front props Wilco Louw and JC Janse van Rensburg will flank hooker Bongi Mbonambi.
There are also two DHL Stormers debutants on the replacements bench in the form of hooker Ramone Samuels and utility back Dan Kriel.
DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that after a tough but rewarding pre-season, his players are excited to show what they are capable of at DHL Newlands and live up to the rallying call of ‘We Stand Together’.
“The start of a new season is always an exciting time and for us to play at DHL Newlands makes the occasion all the more special.
“We are determined to show our faithful fans what we can do in what should be a cracking game on Saturday,” he said.
A big crowd is expected at DHL Newlands on Saturday, so make sure you get your tickets early from either wprugby.computicket.com, any Computicket outlet or the stadium box office and get to the game early to ensure you don’t miss any of the action.Season ticket renewals and sales for DHL Newlands in 2017 are open. Go to wprugby.computicket.com to secure your seat today.
DHL Stormers: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Dan Kriel, 23 Rob du Preez.