at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg - Injuries might have forced his hand in some positions, but coach Allister Coetzee believes the Stormers have the right backline mix ahead of Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Reds.
Coetzee made seven changes to the starting XV, and among the backs, Damian de Allende shifts from inside centre to the right-wing, Jean de Villiers moves back to inside centre and Juan de Jongh will make his first start of the 2014 season at outside centre.
“If you look at the backline we have for this week you will note that it is one of the best we've had in ages in terms of physicality, with a lot of big ball-carriers lining up for this game,” said Coetzee on Wednesday.
“It's been a great training with the guys at the back, and I am excited about the prospects. I reckon that we are fielding our best possible backline this week.”
In other team news, Springbok Jaco Taute is back on the bench - after resting his AC (shoulder) joint for two weeks - with Kobus van Wyk, who has started on the right-wing in his place, missing out with a slight knee injury.
“Jaco is now 100 percent ready to go. I think he can bring a big impact from the bench, but Kobus took a slight bang to the knee against the Brumbies so he will sit out altogether this week,” he said.
The Stormers coach said he had been impressed with the back three of Losi Sailosi Tagicabau, Gio Aplon and De Allende.
Meanwhile, Stormers captain De Villiers believes De Allende can make an impact from the wing, despite starting the last four matches in the number 12 shirt, where he has been a standout performer.
“Damian has been good at 12, but we reckon he has enough experience now and can make a strong contribution from the wing too,” said De Villiers.
“I have to be honest, I am quite looking forward to playing inside centre again. Damian has done well there, but having all three of us (De Jongh, De Allende and De Villiers) on the field at the same time will significantly boost us.”