Eben Etzebeth will start in one of three changes to the Stormers’ lineup for Saturday’s match against the Sharks in Durban.
In a direct swap, Etzebeth comes in for Chris van Zyl, who drops to the bench. Last week’s try-scoring hero, Herschel Jantjies, is also rewarded with a start at scrumhalf in place of the injured Jano Vermaak. As a result, Justin Phillips will provide scrumhalf cover off the bench.
The final change sees Dan du Plessis take over from Ruhan Nel at outside centre, with the latter also dropping to the bench. It will be Etzebeth, Jantjies and Du Plessis’ first starts of the season.
‘We know that we will have to be sharp in every area if we are to get the result we want in Durban,’ said coach Robbie Fleck. ‘Our focus is on being as accurate as possible so that we are able to impose ourselves and our plans on the opposition.’
Stormers – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Subs: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Dillyn Leyds.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix