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    Vermeulen to captain Stormers

    2014-04-02 13:18
    Cape Town - No 8 Duane Vermeulen will captain the Stormers in their Super Rugby encounter against the Waratahs at Newlands on Saturday night (19:10 kick-off).

    The Stormers are back at Newlands for the first time since the end of February and Vermeulen will skipper a team showing four changes from last weekend’s five-point defeat to the Reds in Brisbane.

    Regular captain Jean de Villiers will sit out this week with a meniscal cyst, with Damian de Allende starting in his place at inside centre.

    Kobus van Wyk will take De Allende’s place in the No 14 jersey, with Jaco Taute starting at fullback in place of the injured Gio Aplon and Michael van der Spuy moving onto the bench, having last featured against the Lions in February.

    Up front, meanwhile, the fit-again Ruan Botha (ankle) takes the place of Jurie van Vuuren at No 4 lock in the only change to the pack this week, with Tazz Fuzani (on the bench) the only uncapped member of the Stormers 23-man squad.

    “Depth is crucial in this competition. Having Juan de Jongh back to full fitness, following his comeback from a pre-season knee injury, means that we can still field a formidable centre combination - with Juan and Damian - in Jean’s absence," coach Allister Coetzee told the Stormers' official website.

    “Jean and other players will benefit from this two-week rest period, with next week being a bye, and more players will be returning after the brief break. Players like Scarra Ntubeni, Pat Cilliers, Schalk Burger and Cheslin Kolbe will all hopefully come into contention for selection (after the bye).”

    Coetzee also paid tribute to incoming skipper Duane Vermeulen, who was a consistent performer for the team on their four-match tour of New Zealand and Australia.

    “It’s scary to think that Duane is just 27 years old, yet he has already played 68 matches for the Stormers and he continues to get better as a player and a leader,” said Coetzee.

    “Players like Duane are the future of this union and it’s an exciting opportunity for him to lead the team as we look to get back to winning ways now that we’re back at home at Newlands.”

    The Stormers and Waratahs have met on eight previous occasions at Newlands, with the Stormers winning five times and the ‘Tahs winning twice. One match was drawn (in 2008).



    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 Spuy



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