The Stormers pack has been reinforced by the return of fit-again Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe for the crunch Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash against Ulster in Cape Town on Saturday.
There are four changes to the Stormers’ starting lineup for the showdown with Ulster, the Irish side in second place on the overall standings.
Malherbe is joined in the front row by captain Steven Kitshoff and hooker Chad Solomon, who makes his first start of the campaign in the absence of the injured Scarra Ntubeni.
The only other change to the forward pack sees Ernst van Rhyn start at blindside flank, with lock Adre Smith also available to take his place in the starting XV after having to withdraw last week due to post-concussion symptoms.
In the backline, Paul de Wet starts at scrumhalf in a rotational change, with Herschel Jantjies set to make an impact in the second half as one of two backs on the replacements bench. Lock Connor Evans will make his Stormers debut when he comes on as a replacement.
Stormers head coach John Dobson said that the team are looking forward to what should be a special occasion with a bigger crowd allowed to attend at Cape Town Stadium.
“The change in regulations has been a big boost for us this week and we are all excited to see more of our faithful supporters in the stands this weekend, which really makes a big difference to the players,” Dobson said.
“It is fantastic to have a player of Frans’ proven quality back in the mix and everyone is really motivated to deliver our best possible performance against a quality outfit like Ulster,” he said.
Stormers – 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chad Solomon, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c).
Subs: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Junior Pokomela, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Photo: Grant Pitcher/Gallo Images