Cape Town - Experienced flank Schalk Burger will captain a much-changed and young Stormers team in Saturday's all-South African Super Rugby derby against the Bulls in Pretoria (19:10 kick-off).
Coach Allister Coetzee
has been forced into making six enforced changes to the starting line-up, with three players on debut in the match-day 23 - lock Jean Kleyn in the starting line-up and prop Alistair Vermaak and Dylon Frylinck on the bench.
There are also six new faces on the bench, with Steven Kitshoff (knee), Frans Malherbe (concussion), Oli Kebble (concussion), Jurie van Vuuren (shoulder), Michael Rhodes
(assortment of knocks), Louis Schreuder (broken thumb), Jean de Villiers (AC joint) and Kobus van Wyk (wrist) all dropping out with an assortment of injuries after last weekend’s 29-28 win over the Highlanders at Newlands.
The new players in the selection mix, either on the bench or in the starting XV, are Kleyn, Pat Cilliers, Vermaak, Martin Dreyer, Stephan Coetzee, Frylinck, Michael van der Spuy and Devon Williams, with Peter Grant
, Cheslin Kolbe and Brok Harris
promoted from the bench to starting roles.
Debutant Kleyn will partner his WP Under-21 lock-mate from last year, Ruan Botha, in the second row, whilst UCT No 9 Dylon Frylinck was the first-choice scrumhalf for Western Province during the Vodacom Cup, having been promoted from the amateur ranks at the start of 2014.
Prop Vermaak - who is 25 years old - has been in the Western Province set-up for some time, but his game time has been limited to the Vodacom Cup only up until now.
Captain Burger, at 31, is the oldest player in the Stormers squad to face the Bulls this week - a 23-man group with an average age of just over 24. Cheslin Kolbe, who will make his first Super Rugby start this week, is the baby of the team at 20.
“Yes, this is a young team, but we have faith in the squad selected and every player has a chance to make an impact at one of the toughest venues in world rugby, Loftus Versfeld," Coetzee told the Stormers' official website
“We’ve been unlucky with injuries this week, you can’t prevent concussion or broken noses and the like, but, at the same time it’s an exciting moment for the likes of Jean Kleyn, Alistair Vermaak and Dylon Frylinck - all of whom will be on debut.”Teams:Bulls:
15. Jurgen Visser
, 14. Akona Ndungane, 13. JJ Engelbrecht
, 12. Jan Serfontein
, 11. Bjorn Basson
, 10. Handré Pollard, 9. Francois Hougaard
, 8. Grant Hattingh
, 7. Jacques du Plessis, 6. Jono Ross
, 5. Victor Matfield
(captain), 4. Paul Willemse
, 3. Marcel van der Merwe, 2. Callie Visagie
, 1. Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16. Bongi Mbonambi
, 17. Werner Kruger
, 18. Morné Mellett, 19. Jacques Engelbrecht, 20. Wimpie van der Walt, 21. Rudy Paige
, 22. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23. William Small-SmithStormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Damian de Allende, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Peter Grant
,11. Cheslin Kolbe, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Schalk Burger (captain), 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Brok Harris
Substitutes:16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Alistair Vermaak, 18. Martin Dreyer, 19. Siya Kolisi
, 20. Deon Fourie, 21. Dylon Frylinck, 22. Michael van der Spuy, 23. Devon Williams