Ruhan Nel starts, with several players in line to reach major milestones in a rejigged DHL Stormers 23 to face Harlequins in Cape Town on Saturday.
Centre Dan du Plessis, lock Ernst van Rhyn and prop Neethling Fouche are all set to earn their 50th Stormers caps, while veteran prop Brok Harris will make it 250 combined caps for the Stormers and Western Province in the Champions cup last-16 clash at Cape Town Stadium.
Nel makes his return to the team following the birth of his daughter and will partner Du Plessis in midfield, with Damian Willemse moving to fullback and Herschel Jantjies coming into the starting line-up at scrumhalf.
In the forward pack, Van Rhyn starts in place of Ruben van Heerden, who is cup-tied having represented Exeter Chiefs earlier in the competition. As a result, Gary Porter will provide lock cover from the replacements bench.
Stormers coach John Dobson said that having so many milestones should make it an even more special occasion. “We have a home Champions Cup knock-out match at DHL Stadium, which is the stuff that dreams are made of.
“It will be fantastic to also recognise Dan, Ernst, Neethling and Brok, who have all contributed so much to the team over the years.
“We are all looking forward to what should be a proper spectacle in front of the Faithful at Cape Town Stadium,” he said.
Stormers – 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ernst van Rhyn, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c).
Subs: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Gary Porter, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Clayton Blommetjies.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) March 30, 2023