Vermeulen to lead Stormers
Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has named his team to take on the Cheetahs in Saturday's pre-season friendly in Bloemfontein.
Kick-off is at 17:00.
In the absence of Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers, fellow Springbok Duane Vermeulen will lead the Stormers into battle. Burger, Bekker and De Villiers - and the other injured or sick players - are all expected to feature against Boland next weekend.
Even without the trio of Burger, Bekker and De Villiers, Vermeulen will be one of seven capped Springboks in action for the Stormers on Saturday - including new faces Jaco Taute (at fullback) and Pat Cilliers (from the bench) and wing Bryan Habana, who will run out as vice-captain.
In all, nine players in the 24-man squad have not played for the Stormers before, with Taute, Damian de Allende and new hooker Martin Bezuidenhout among the newbies in the starting line-up.
On the bench, youngsters Stephan Coetzee, Rayn Smid and Pat Howard (all from last year's WP Under-21 team) will be hoping for their first taste of action, along with other new faces, Ruan Botha and Michael Rhodes who moved to Cape Town last year.
The Stormers will start their 2013 Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld in Pretoria on Friday, February 22.
Saturday's match between the Cheetahs and Stormers will be televised live on SuperSport One.
15 Hennie Daniller, 14 Jannie Boshoff, 13 Johann Sadie, 12 Rayno Benjamin, 11 Rocco Jansen, 10 Riaan Smit, 9 Sarel Pretorius, 8 Phillip van der Walt, 7 Davon Raubenheimer, 6 Johannes Prinsloo, 5 Doppies Vermeulen, 4 Rynhardt Landman, 3 Lourens Adriaanse, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Trevor Nyakane.
Substitutes: 16. Ryno Barnes, 17. Caylib Oosthuizen, 18. Lood de Jager, 19. Francois Uys, 20. Frans Viljoen, 21. Juan Smith, 22. Lappies Labuscahgne, 23. Piet van Zyl, 24. Elgar Watts, 25. Barry Geel, 26. Willie le Roux, 27. Hansie Graaff
15. Jaco Taute, 14. Gio Aplon, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian de Allende, 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Kurt Coleman, 9. Louis Schreuder, 8. Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7. Don Armand, 6. Nizaam Carr, 5. De Kock Steenkamp, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Martin Bezuidenhout, 1. Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16. Stephan Coetzee, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Ruan Botha, 19. Michael Rhodes, 20. Rayn Smid, 21. Dewaldt Duvenage, 22. Pat Howard, 23. Gerhard van den Heever, 24. Joe Pietersen
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe