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Stormers suffer Fourie blow as key players return

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Salmaan Moerat makes his first start since returning from injury and will lead the Stormers in their United Rugby Championship encounter with Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.

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The Stormers will be looking to extend their unbeaten record at home this season when they face the Scottish outfit.

The Capetonians have been boosted by the return from injury of experienced props Frans Malherbe and Lizo Gqoboka, while Wandisile Simelane makes his first start for the team at outside centre.

With Warrick Gelant being rested, Damian Willemse starts at fullback where he will link up with wings Leolin Zas and Suleiman Hartzenberg.

Simelane partners Dan du Plessis in midfield, with Manie Libbok and Paul de Wet forming the halfback combination. There are three backs on the bench in the form of Herschel Jantjies, Jurie Matthee and Ben Loader.

There is an all-new loose trio, with Evan Roos and Ben-Jason Dixon joined by Nama Xaba, who starts at openside flank with Deon Fourie ruled out with a minor injury.

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Moerat is in the second row, with experienced props Malherbe and Brok Harris either side of hooker Andre-Hugo Venter.

Gqoboka is joined by Joseph Dweba, Neethling Fouche, Connor Evans and Hacjivah Dayimani on a replacements bench that is sure to play an influential role in the second half.

Stormers head coach John Dobson said that his team is keen to impress at the start of a crucial sequence of home games.

“We have some serious players coming back into the mix and after over two months it will be fantastic to be back at Cape Town Stadium.

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“There has been some good work put in over the last few weeks on the training ground and we are excited about seeing the results of that.

“We have some big games at home in this period, so it will be important for us to hit the ground running and build some momentum against what is an impressive Edinburgh side,” he said.

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jurie Matthee, 23 Ben Loader.

Date: Saturday, March 23
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 UK & Ireland time; 15.05 GMT)
Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: AJ Jacobs (South Africa), Hanru van Rooyen (South Africa)
TMO: Sean Brickell (Wales)

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