Duane back to lead Stormers
Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is back from his two-week rest period and will lead the Stormers in Saturday's Super Rugby North-South derby against the Bulls at Newlands (19:10 kick-off).
Vermeulen missed the final two weeks of the Stormers’ Super Rugby tour as part of the SA franchises’ rest agreement with SA Rugby, but his return marks one of four changes to the starting line-up that defeated the Western Force 13-6 in Perth last Saturday.
Two of the four changes are injury enforced, with Johnny Kotze and Pat Howard (on debut) replacing the injured wing duo of Kobus van Wyk (knee - six weeks) and Dillyn Leyds (shoulder - one week), respectively.
Howard will make his Super Rugby debut, with Kotze set to win his sixth cap.
Nizaam Carr moves to the bench to make way for Vermeulen’s expected return to action, while the fourth and final change sees Nic Groom take over at scrumhalf from Louis Schreuder, who, like Carr, reverts to the bench.
Joining Carr and Schreuder among the replacements is prop Oli Kebble, with Alistair Vermaak - along with Sikhumbuzo Notshe - doing duty for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team this weekend.
15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones
15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling
Substitutes: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morne Mellet, 18 Arno Botha, 19 Lappies Labuschagne, 20 Akona Ndungane, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jurgen Visser, 23 Trevor Nyakane