BlitzBok convert takes centre stage against Bulls
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Centre Ruhan Nel and prop Corne Fourie are both set to make their Stormers debut in the Super Rugby clash against the Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.
Nel starts in midfield alongside Damian de Allende and loosehead prop Fourie finds himself on the replacements bench for the opening round encounter.
At the back Dillyn Leyds links up with wings SP Marais and JJ Engelbrecht, with Jano Vermaak and Damian Willemse forming the halfback pairing.
Up front hooker Bongi Mbonambi will be alongside props Ali Vermaak and Wilco Louw, while Salmaan Moerat and JD Schickerling are the starting lock duo.
Sikhumbuzo Notshe is at the back of the scrum, with 2018 SA Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit and captain Siya Kolisi on the flanks.
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Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team are focused on making it a convincing start to the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.
“Our preparations have gone well, so we are really excited to see what this combination will be able to do this weekend.
“We would obviously like to make a strong start to the season and will look to deliver in some of the areas we have been focused on in pre-season in order to do that,” he said.
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan du Plessis.
Date: Saturday, February 16
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 17.15 (15.15 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Assistant referees: Paul Williams, Egon Seconds
TMO: Marius Jonker
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