Jamie Roberts will make his Vodacom Super Rugby debut after he was selected in the Stormers’ starting lineup for Saturday’s match against the Hurricanes at Newlands.
Roberts, former Wales and British & Irish international, joins match-day squad that includes 10 capped Springboks (seven of them World Cup winners).
He will be partnered in midfield by Blitzbok star Ruhan Nel. Fullback Dillyn Leyds form the back three with wings Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla, and Damian Willemse and Herschel Jantjies are the preferred halfback pairing.
Up front, captain Siya Kolisi is joined in the loose trio by World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit and Jaco Coetzee; the experienced Chris van Zyl and Salmaan Moerat start in tandem in the second row; and Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kitshoff team up in the all-Bok front row.
In an interesting bench formation, coach John Dobson has followed Springbok boss Rassie Erasmus’ successful blueprint of a 6-2 split among the reserves in favour of the forwards.
Debutant Rikus Pretorius (centre) and scrumhalf Godlen Masimla are the only backline players on the bench.
Stormers – 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Siya Kolisi (c), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Subs: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images