Kitshoff, Ntubeni return for Stormers

Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff will lead the Stormers after returning to their starting lineup to face the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria on Saturday.

Kitshoff is back for the North-South clash, which kicks off at 7pm on Saturday at Loftus Versfeld, after missing out last week due to Covid-19 protocols.

He takes the captaincy reins from Siya Kolisi, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Kolisi’s place on the side of the scrum is taken by Jaco Coetzee, while JD Schickerling starts at lock in the only other change to the forward pack.

The backline remains unchanged from the team that came from behind to beat the Pumas in Nelspruit last Friday.

Western Province U21 stars Marcel Theunissen (flank) and Angelo Davids (wing) are joined by Ben-Jason Dixon (flank) and Tristan Leyds (outside back) in a quartet of uncapped players on an extended list of replacements to travel up to Pretoria.

Springbok Scarra Ntubeni is also back on the bench after missing the Pumas match due to Covid protocols.

Stormers head coach John Dobson said that his side are looking forward to testing themselves in what should be another North-South classic.

‘This match is one of the highlights on the South African rugby calendar, so we are looking forward to taking on that challenge this weekend.

‘This is a great chance for the team to show our faithful supporters what it means to us to play for them, we know that we will have to be on our game to come away with the result on Saturday,’ he said.

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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 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c).
Subs: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Angelo Davids, 26 Tristan Leyds.

Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images