Stormers coach rings the changes for Scarlets clash
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Stormers head coach John Dobson has revealed his team to face Scarlets in Round Eight of the United Rugby Championship in Cape Town.
Lock Gary Porter will make his Stormers debut among a number of changes for the encounter.
Porter returned to South Africa at the beginning of the season after playing for the Ealing Trailfinders in the RFU Championship.
Porter joined the Western Province Rugby Institute straight out of school a few years ago and then went on to represent UCT in the Varsity Cup, while attaining a psychology degree.
Also making their first starts of the season are centre Cornel Smit, flyhalf Kade Wolhuter and flank Marcel Theunissen, while Leon Lyons, Connor Evans and Jean-Luc du Plessis all come onto the replacements bench.
Ernst van Rhyn will lead the side alongside Porter in the second row, while Leolin Zas, Joseph Dweba, Sazi Sandi, JJ Kotze and Herschel Jantjies all make their return from national duties.
Dobson said that there are quite a few players motivated to make their mark on Friday.
“The players getting an opportunity this week have all been training incredibly hard all season and are determined to make the most of this game.
“We are pleased with the depth we have built already this season and this is also a side that features plenty of experience in key positions, so we are excited to see how they go,” he said.
Dobson said that given the unavailability of eight players in the Springbok squad, this match presents a perfect opportunity to build capacity in a demanding season.
“This selection forms part of a clear strategy to prepare ourselves to be competitive across the various competitions we are involved in this season.
“We have an exciting young generation of young players coming through and it will be a big challenge for them against a team which boasts almost 300 Test caps, but we are looking forward to it,” he said.
Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis.
Date: Friday, November 25
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 UK & Ireland time; 17.00 GMT)
Referee: Eoghan Cross (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Morne Ferreira (South Africa) & Paul Mente (South Africa)
TMO: Frank Murphy (Ireland)