Stormers without Bok pair for Pumas clash

Springbok front-row duo Steven Kitshoff and Scarra Ntubeni will both miss the Stormers’ match against the Pumas after coming into contact with a positive Covid-19 case.

The Stormers confirmed in their team announcement for the match that Kitshoff and Ntubeni have been isolated according to Covid-19 protocols after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for the virus.

The duo have therefore missed the Stormers’ trip to Nelspruit where they will face a Pumas side – coming off an excellent win over Griquas – on Friday evening.

Kitshoff’s absence from the starting lineup means that loosehead prop Leon Lyons will earn his first Stormers cap. Lyons was named as a replacement last week but never got on the pitch against the Emirates Lions, with the experienced Kitshoff playing the entire match at Newlands.

There are a further two changes to the starting lineup as Edwill van der Merwe gets an opportunity to perform with Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla missing the match through injury.

In the only other change, Chris van Zyl starts in a rotational swap with JD Schickerling, who drops to the bench.

On an extended bench, Chad Solomon takes Ntubeni’s place, while Lyons’ promotion allows Kwenzo Blose to be called up. There are also places for flank Jaco Coetzee, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla and utility back Tristan Leyds, who all did not feature last week. The replacements will be finalised on Friday.

Stormers head coach John Dobson said that the trip to Nelspruit will be a good chance for his team to show what they learned from their opening match.

‘We would like to see growth and improvement in certain areas of our game and an away game in Nelspruit will be a good test of that,’ Dobson said.

‘We have some exciting players coming into the mix this week, so we are looking forward to seeing what they have to offer as we keep building.’

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 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Leon Lyons.
Subs: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Michal Haznar, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Tristan Leyds.

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix