Stormers rest big guns for Lions

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Siya_Kolisi2 Gallo Images Stormers flank Siya Kolisi.

The Stormers have named a vastly inexperienced loose trio in the side to play against the Lions in Saturday's Super Rugby derby at Newlands.

Siya Kolisi, a serious Springbok contender after several superb performances playing as a flank, has been named at eighthman, along with green horns Don Armand and Tyrone Holmes.

Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth has been rested as a precautionary measure, after he was nursing and ankle injury, and wing Bryan Habana will start off from the bench in an effort to give him a deserved rest.

Gerhard van den Heever will take Habana's place.

Lock De Kock Steenkamp gets another run-on XV place and he will partner the returning Andries Bekker in the second row.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has shown some foresight with Kolisi's move to eighthman and has a bearing on the late returns from injury by Schalk Burger and Duane Vermeulen.

“Kolisi has played at No 8 at school level and as a skillful footballer he is suited to the position,” said Coetzee.

“With every outing this year, he’s developed as a strong ball-carrying No 7 and has also really done a really good job for us at No 6 when Burger was injured.

“I can't say for sure when our injured loosies like Burger, Vermeulen and (Nick) Koster will be back and I'm exposing Kolisi there, should he be required in the future.

“These injured players are still suffering with bone bruising and they are unable to start training because of pain. I expect them to start training in the week of the Rebels match (in two weeks' time) but in the mean time, I want Siya to get used to that position.

“There's also Jebb Sinclair who has returned after playing for Canada, and since he won’t be eligible for the knock-outs, we needed to try out players at the back of the scrum, as well as other players we might need later in the year.

“Don (Armand) has come through the club and Varsity Cup systems and has been part of our campaign as a squad member since the start.

“We know what he offers. He's a big ball carrying No 7 and has played off the bench before, and it will not be a new experience for him.

“Tyrone has been around as a player for WP and played in the Vodacom Cup.

“He's has a spell with Griquas,and we are backing him to do well.”

Coetzee added that this loose trio would suit the team in a match against a side like the Lions.

“We're up against a Lions team that plays a fast-paced high-tempo game,” said Coetzee.

“In selecting players like Holmes and (hooker) Deon Fourie we feel we have satisfied that consideration.

“The Lions will offer us a big challenge and I think they could be really dangerous.

“The selections (this match) are not because we are taking the Lions lightly. We are in a good position now and we're looking to make this opportunity count.”

Stormers team: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Gerhard van den Heever, Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage, Siya Kolisi, Don Armand, Tyrone Holmes, Andries Bekker, De Kock Steenkamp, Frans Malherbe, Deon Fourie, Deon Carstens.

Reserves: Tiaan Liebenberg, Brok Harris, Quinn Roux, Jebb Sinclair, Louis Schreuder, Burton Francis, Bryan Habana. – Sapa


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