Cape Town - Springbok inside centre Damian de Allende
will line up in the No 12 jersey for the Stormers, as the men from the Cape
open their 2015 Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on
Saturday (19:10 kick-off).
De Allende is one of three Springboks in
the Stormers’ starting XV, whilst fit-again loose forward Nizaam Carr has been
named on the bench to take the squad tally of Boks to four.
In all, there are six Stormers debutants in
the match-day squad, three in the starting XV and three on the bench, with
wings Johnny Kotze and Dillyn Leyds and tighthead prop Vincent Koch the new
faces in the run-on side.
The new faces on the bench are hooker Bongi
Mbonambi - who, of course, has Super Rugby experience with the Bulls -
tighthead prop Wilco Louw and outside back Huw Jones.
Both Kotze and Leyds are graduates of the
WP Rugby Institute and cup-winning WP Under-21 set-ups, with Leyds having had a
brief taste of Super Rugby in the colours of the Western Force in 2014.
Skipper Duane Vermeulen will lead the team
from the No 8 position in a match which head coach Allister Coetzee describes
as a “tough assignment” and a “great challenge”.
“It is (a tough assignment),” Coetzee told the
Stormers’ official website, “but it’s been done before.”
The Stormers will start their season on the
Highveld for the third year in a row - having played away to the Bulls in 2013
and the Lions in 2014 - and Coetzee added: “This is a great Bulls team -
jam-packed with Springboks.
“It’s a great challenge for us, but we have
prepared well and, most importantly, the players are comfortable in their roles
and with their responsibilities in the team and, of course, the expectations
placed on them.
“We’re looking forward to getting our
campaign underway after a good pre-season and, as everyone knows, there’s no
greater challenge than facing the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld - be it your first
game or your last game of the season.”
15. Jurgen Visser, 14. Bjorn Basson,
13. JJ Engelbrecht, 12. Jan Serfontein, 11. Francois Hougaard, 10.
Handre Pollard, 9. Piet van Zyl, 8. Arno Botha, 7. Lappies Labuschagne,
6. Deon Stegmann, 5. Victor Matfield (captain), 4. Jacques du Plessis,
3. Werner Kruger, 2. Adriaan Strauss, 1. Trevor Nyakane
16. Callie Visagie, 17. Morne Mellet, 18. Dayan vd Westhuizen/Neethling
Fouche, 19. Grant Hattingh, 20. Pierre Spies, 21. Rudy Paige, 22.
Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 23. Jesse Kriel
15. Cheslin Kolbe, 14. Johnny Kotze, 13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Damian
de Allende, 11. Dillyn Leyds, 10. Demetri Catrakilis, 9. Nic Groom, 8.
Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7. Michael Rhodes, 6. Rynhardt Elstadt, 5.
Ruan Botha, 4. Jean Kleyn, 3. Vincent Koch, 2. Scarra Ntubeni, 1. Steven
Substitutes: 16. Bongi
Mbonambi, 17. Oli Kebble, 18. Wilco Louw, 19. Jurie van Vuuren, 20.
Nizaam Carr, 21. Louis Schreuder, 22. Kurt Coleman, 23. Huw Jones