Vodacom Super Rugby
Stormers opt for two fetchers
Siya Kolisi (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Stormers will operate with two "fetchers" in Siya Kolisi and Deon Fourie in their Super Rugby derby against the Cheetahs at Newlands on Saturday.
Fourie takes over the team captaincy from injured Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers.
During his career, Fourie has played mostly as a hooker, but the Stormers and Western Province have used him to good effect as a flanker.
He will, however, be wearing number seven on Saturday and will be partnered by new Springbok Kolisi who will don the number six jersey.
"Both players have improved massively with their ability to play on the ground and they have grown in that [fetcher's] role," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said on Wednesday.
"They are both ball carriers and can also play close to the ball, but we don't want to hand them specific roles for fear that we might take away from their playing strengths.
"Kolisi showed his true worth when we lost Schalk Burger, and it is his DNA to play the situation as it arises."
Scarra Ntubeni returns after an injury lay-off and will provide cover as a hooker on the substitutes' bench.
Damian de Allende got the nod as De Villiers' replacement and will pair up with Springbok Juan de Jongh in midfield. De Jongh has been touring with the Springboks, but an injury kept him on the sidelines.
"Juan is well rested and he's in a good space, just hungry to get on the field," said Coetzee.
"He's been looking forward to be in action again and it's a good opportunity to show why he should still be in the Springbok mix.
"Juan and Damian will be up against Robert [Ebersohn] and [Johann] Sadie, who have been in excellent form, and they'll provide a good test.
"There's also [Springbok] Willie le Roux [in their backline], who brings a variation of attacking skills, but we're backing our [defence] system [to contain him]. We won't just be watching Willie."
Despite falling out of favour with Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, Cheetahs flanker Heinrich Brussow is still a force to be reckoned with.
The Stormers are hoping that the Kolisi/Fourie combination will counter Brussow at the breakdown.
"Heinrich may not have made it through to the Springboks of late, but he continues to do well," said Fourie.
"We all know what he's capable of and the way he plays will have an influence on the game.
"This is a derby match and it is just a step harder for the South African sides. There is also the Castle Rugby Championship coming up soon so that steps up the intensity because of the competition for places [in the Bok team]."
15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh,
12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Elton Jantjies, 9. Louis
Schreuder, 8. Nizaam Carr, 7. Deon Fourie (captain), 6. Siya Kolisi, 5.
De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Brok Harris, 2. Tiaan
Liebenberg, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Scarra Ntubeni,
17. Ross Geldenhuys, 18. Gerbrandt Grobler, 19. Don Armand, 20. Dewaldt
Duvenage, 21. Gary van Aswegen, 22. Gerhard van den Heever
Hennie Daniller, 14 Willie le Roux, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Robert
Ebersohn, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Philip van
der Walt, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Heinrich Brüssow, 5 Rynhardt Landman, 4
Lodewyk de Jager, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1
Substitutes: 16 Ryno Barnes, 17 Trevor
Nyakane, 18 Petrus Vermeulen, 19 Johannes Prinsloo, 20 Sarel Pretorius,
21 Elgar Watts, 22 Howard Mnisi.