CAPE TOWN – Stormers wing Dillyn Leyds will start at flyhalf against the Blues at Newlands on Friday (kick-off 7pm).
Leyds, who has mostly played on the left wing this season, will resume the role he filled against the Hurricanes after Robert du Preez left the field with a torn pectoral muscle.
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Dillyn Leyds. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix
Fit-again Seabelo Senatla will add some speed to the Stormers backline when he takes his place out on the left wing, while inside centre Damian de Allende returns from an ankle injury and will start on the bench alongside Brandon Thomson, who will provide flyhalf cover.
The Stormers will also be boosted by the return of Springboks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit, who have both recovered from injury niggles, while another Bok in prop Frans Malherbe is also back in the starting line-up after being rested against the Hurricanes.
In the only other chango to the pack, Oli Kebble switches with Ali Vermaak to claim the starting spot.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck was pleased to have the injury returnees back for the home clash
“It is great to have all of these players back in the mix and the players are determined to lift our game following the bye week,” he said.
“We have prepared well for this game and want to make the most of the opportunity to play in front of our fans at Newlands again."
Stormers team: 15 SP Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Shaun Treeby, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Dillyn Leyds, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Siya Kolisi (captain), 6 Kobus van Dyk, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Brandon Thomson, 23 Damian de Allende.
Blues team: 15 Melani Nanai, 14 Matt Duffie, 13 George Moala, 12 Sonny Bill Williams, 11 Rieko Ioane, 10 Piers Francis, 9 Augustine Pulu, 8 Akira Ioane, 7 Blake Gibson, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 Gerard Cowley-Tuioti, 3 Charlie Faumuina, 2 James Parsons (captain), 1 Ofa Tu'ungafasi
Replacements: 16 Hame Faiva, 17 Alex Hodgman, 18 Sione Mafileo, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Kara Pryor, 21 Sam Nock, 22 Bryn Gatland, 23 Michael Collins.