Stormers lose Boks due to COVID-19 protocols
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: There are three changes to the Stormers starting line-up for their Super Rugby Unlocked encounter against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday.
The Stormers will be without Springboks Steven Kitshoff and Scarra Ntubeni this week. The duo have been isolated according to COVID-19 protocols after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.
There are two changes in the tight five and there is one injury-enforced change in the Stormers backline for the match at Mbombela Stadium.
Wing Edwill van der Merwe starts out wide in place of the injured Sergeal Petersen, while up front lock Chris van Zyl gets a start in a rotational switch and loosehead prop Leon Lyons will earn his first Stormers cap.
Lyons was named as a replacement last week but never got on the pitch against the Lions, with the experienced Kitshoff playing the entire match at Newlands.
This means that prop Kwenzo Blose and hooker Chad Solomon are both among an extended list of replacements along with flank Jaco Coetzee, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla and utility back Tristan Leyds, who all did not feature last week. The replacements bench will be finalised on Friday.
Here is your DHL Stormers team that will face the Phakisa Pumas at Mbombela Stadium in Nelspruit at 19h00 on Friday. Three changes to the starting line-up and an extended bench named, with replacements to be finalised on Friday. #iamastormer #dhldelivers #SuperRugbyUnlocked pic.twitter.com/D0MQq6xbOn
— DHL Stormers (@THESTORMERS) October 21, 2020
Stormers head coach John Dobson said that the trip to Nelspruit will be a good chance for his team to show what they learned from their opening match.
“We would like to see growth and improvement in certain areas of our game and an away game in Nelspruit will be a good test of that.
“We have some exciting players coming into the mix this week, so we are looking forward to seeing what they have to offer as we keep building,” he said.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements – from: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Michal Haznar, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Tristan Leyds.
Date: Friday, October 23
Venue: Mbombela Stadium, Nelspruit
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen
Assistant referees: Aimee Barrett-Theron, Griffin Colby
TMO: AJ Jacobs