Stormers face leadership void
Cape Town - The Stormers will be trying to revive their flagging Super Rugby fortunes without their leadership duo of Jean de Villiers and Schalk Burger when they host the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday evening.
Captain De Villiers is battling with a disorder of the knee and vice-captain Burger has a troublesome quad muscle that needs more rest to heal.
"Jean is suffering with a meniscus cyst which has an impact on his calf," said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee at Wednesday's team announcement at Newlands, Cape Town.
"Our medical staff says it (De Villiers' cyst) will settle over the next seven days and suits us fine because we have a bye next week.
"That will give Jean an extra week to recover, and it is the same with quite a few other guys like Schalk Burger, Pat Cilliers and Cheslin Kolbe.
"We get quite a few players back from injury after the bye."
In De Villiers and Burger's absence, Deon Fourie would normally take over the reins but the captain's armband has gone to eighthman Duane Vermeulen.
Damian de Allende moves off the right wing to the midfield where he will partner Juan de Jongh.
It will be the first time they will combine this year, but they played together in last season's Currie Cup competition.
"We saw how well Juan played against the Reds last week and he and Damian are a formidable midfield combination," said Coetzee.
"They are tried and tested as a unit too, bearing in mind that they played together last year."
The promising Kobus van Wyk has another chance to prove himself on the right wing after he was dropped from the match-day squad last week.
Jaco Taute replaces the injured Gio Aplon at fullback and the halfback pairing has been retained.
In the pack, Ruan Botha returns at the expense of injured lock Jurie van Vuuren in the only change up front.
Botha's presence should help to stabilise the lineout which has been dismal of late.
Last week, hooker Fourie was blown up several times for not throwing in straight and Coetzee said the matter has been addressed at training this week.
Stand-in skipper Vermeulen felt the set-piece would function better this week.
"From the outside it looks like there are lots of problems with the lineout, but there is not any one big thing that is holding us back," said Vermeulen.
"It is just a matter of executing better.
"We have had hooker injuries and Deon has not thrown in for a while, but he will have the experience of last week behind him now."
Coetzee said Fourie was a highly competitive player and would want to make amends this week.Stormers:
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Kobus van Wyk, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Sailosi Tagicakibau, 10. Peter Grant
, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen
(captain), 7. Siya Kolisi
, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. Michael Rhodes
, 4. Ruan Botha, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Oliver Kebble, 18. Brok Harris
, 19. Tazz Fuzani, 20. Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21. Nic Groom, 22. Demetri Catrakilis
, 23. Michael van der SpuyWaratahs: