Stormers send 'B-team' into battle
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Lock Chris van Zyl will captain a 26-man Stormers squad in their pre-season outing against the Bulls at the Cape Town Stadium on Sunday.
The team has a decidedly second-string feel about it.
The bulk of the team’s Springboks – Steven Kitshoff, Siyamthanda Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Frans Malherbe and Damian de Allende – will not feature in the match.
There is a sprinkling of Boks on the bench – Wilco Louw, John Schickerling and Sikhumbuzo Notshe.
The match will be played directly after the encounter between the Lions and Sharks in the #SuperSunday doubleheader.
The Stormers will face the Bulls in their Super Rugby opener at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, February 16.
Van Zyl leads a squad with a good blend of youth and experience as the Stormers continue to build up to the 2019 Super Rugby campaign.
The back three features Dillyn Leyds at fullback and Seabelo Senatla and Sarel Marais on the wings, while Damian Willemse and Sergeal Petersen are on the extended replacements bench.
Dan Kriel and Johannes Engelbrecht link up in midfield with Jano Vermaak and Joshua Stander starting as the halfback pairing.
Herschel Jantjies and Dan du Plessis will provide cover for the inside backs.
The loose trio of flanks Jaco Coetzee and Cobus Wiese and No.8 Juarno Augustus will have support from replacements Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Kobus van Dyk.
Van Zyl starts alongside Salmaan Moerat in the second row, with Ernst van Rhyn and John Schickerling among the replacements.
In the front row, hooker Siyabonga Ntubeni will have props Alister Vermaak and Michael Kumbirai either side of him, with new recruit Corne Fourie, Chad Solomon and Wilco Louw set to make an impact in the second half.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is looking forward to what should be a special occasion.
“There will be a big crowd and a special atmosphere this Sunday and the players are all looking forward to the experience.
“On the field, this will be an important step forward for us in our preparations for the upcoming campaign, so we are hoping to take a lot out of this game,” he said.
Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 SP Marais, 10 Joshua Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Michael Kumbirai, 2 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Replacements -from: Chad Solomon, Corne Fourie, Wilco Louw, Ernst van Rhyn, John Schickerling, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Kobus van Dyk, Herschel Jantjies, Damian Willemse, Sergeal Petersen, Dan du Plessis.
Date: Sunday, February 3
Venue: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Rasta Rasivhenge
Assistant referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Divan Uys
TMO: Christie du Preez