Cape Town - Former All Black and Lions coach John Mitchell believes the Stormers will start slowly in this year's Super Rugby competition.
The Cape side has a lot of new combinations this year, which will make it difficult for the team to gel initially, according to Mitchell.
"It's a team that will take a bit of time to develop," Mitchell told Die Burger's website
. "They will however, gather momentum as the season moves on."
Only the lock and loose forward combinations are not new in the team named by coach Allister Coetzee
for Friday night's Super Rugby opener against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Tighthead prop Pat Cilliers has joined from the Lions and will form a front row with Deon Fourie and Steven Kitshoff, while at the back a new halfback combination in Nick Groom and Elton Jantjies
will be put to the test.
Damian de Allende forms a new centre partnership with captain Jean de Villiers, while Jaco Taute is a newcomer at fullback, forming a new back trio with wings Bryan Habana
and Gio Aplon.
The derby clash in Pretoria kicks off at 19:10 on Friday evening.Teams:Bulls:
15 Zane Kirchner
, 14 Lionel Mapoe, 13 JJ Engelbrecht
, 12 Wynand Olivier
, 11 Bjorn Basson
, 10 Mornè Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard
, 8 Pierre Spies
(captain), 7 Dewald Potgieter
, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Juandrè Kruger, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Werner Kruger
, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle
, 1 Mornè Mellett
Substitutes: 16 Willie Wepener, 17 Frik Kirsten, 18 Grant Hattingh, 19 Arno Botha, 20 Jano Vermaak
, 21 Louis Fouchè, 22 Francois VenterStormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Jean de Villiers (captain), 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana
, 10. Elton Jantjies
, 9. Nic Groom, 8. Duane Vermeulen
, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi
, 5. Andries Bekker
, 4. De Kock Steenkamp, 3. Pat Cilliers, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Martin Bezuidenhout, 17. Frans Malherbe, 18. Don Armand, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Dewaldt Duvenage
, 21. Gerhard van den Heever, 22. Joe PietersenHAVE YOUR SAY:
Do you agree with John Mitchell's statement that the Stormers will be slow out of the blocks this season? Or do they boast enough talent to gel as unit immediately? Send your thoughts to Sport24