Cape Town – Springbok flank Schalk Burger will captain the Stormers in Saturday’s all-South African Super Rugby clash in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs.
Burger missed his team’s 21-19 win over the Sharks at the end of May with a neck injury but took part in the Springboks’ recent Test series against the World XV, Wales and Scotland.
His return in the number seven jersey was one of six changes to the starting line-up from the team which faced the Sharks.
The positional switches saw Juan de Jongh move from outside centre to inside centre and Sailosi Tagicakibau from left wing to outside centre. They team up in the midfield with Cheslin Kolbe, moving from the right wing to left wing.
There were three new faces on the bench in the form of the fit-again pairing of hooker Tiaan Liebenber and scrumhalf Louis Schreuder, while SA Sevens and former SA Under-20 ace Seabelo Senatla came in for his first taste of Super Rugby.
Senatla would be available for the Stormers for the next two weeks, having signed a twin deal with WP Rugby and SA Rugby, before he joined up with the South African team for the Commonwealth Games later in July.
Newlands crowd favourite Gio Aplon would make his return to action from a dislocated elbow in the number 14 jersey, before his departure for France at the end of the Super Rugby season. He had been out of action with an injury to his elbow since the end of March.
The Stormers team: Jaco Taute, Gio Aplon, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Juan de Jongh, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt Coleman, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger (captain), Nizaam Carr, Ruan Botha, Michael Rhodes, Pat Cilliers, Deon Fourie, Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Sti Sithole, Martin Dreyer, Manuel Carizza, Siya Kolisi, Louis Schreuder, Peter Grant, Seabelo Senatla. – Sapa