Landmark for De Allende against Bulls
Cape Town - Damian de Allende will earn his 50th Super Rugby cap for the Stormers in the clash with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld this weekend.
The 24-year-old centre made his debut for the Stormers in 2013, and has since established himself as a key player, winning the 2015 SA Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year award.
De Allende will link up with Johnny Kotze in midfield with co-captain Juan de Jongh sidelined due to a hamstring strain, while Leolin Zas returns from suspension to take Kotze’s place on the wing.
The only other change to the backline which started against the Suunwolves in Singapore sees scrumhalf Nic Groom swop places with Louis Schreuder who starts on the replacements bench.
In the loose trio Schalk Burger will start at number eight, with Nizaam Carr shifting to flank and Rynhardt Elstadt moving to the replacements bench.
Eben Etzebeth makes his return from injury to partner Pieter-Steph du Toit at lock, while there are two changes in the front row with Oli Kebble starting at loosehead prop in place of the injured JC Janse van Rensburg and Bongi Mbonambi getting an opportunity to start at hooker with Scarra Ntubeni set to make an impact from the replacements bench.
Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is determined to get back to winning ways after disappointing results in the last two weeks.
“The players know that we have to make a big step up in terms of our performance, and we have worked incredibly hard this week to ensure that we are at our best against a competitive Vodacom Bulls side,” he said.
Bulls: 15 SP Marais, 14 Jamba Ulengo, 13 Jesse
Kriel, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Travis Ismaiel, 10 Francois Brummer, 9 Piet
van Zyl, 8 Arno Botha, 7 Jannes Kirsten, 6 Lappies Labuschagne, 5 RG
Snyman, 4 Jason Jenkins, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss
(captain), 1 Lizo Gqoboka
Substitutes: 16 Jaco
Visagie, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Pierre Schoeman, 19 Grant Hattingh, 20
Deon Stegmann, 21 Rudy Paige, 22 Tian Schoeman, 23 Dries Swanepoel
Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Damian de Allende,
11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger, 7
Siya Kolisi, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3
Frans Malherbe (captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli KebbleSubstitutes:
Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Alistair Vermaak, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Rynhardt
Elstadt, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Brandon Thomson,
23 Huw Jones