Johannesburg – Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has made five changes to his team for Saturday's Super Rugby meeting with the Brumbies in Canberra (kick-off 10.40am SA time).
One of the five changes is positional, with Gio Aplon shifting from wing to fullback, handing a first-ever Stormers start to Sailosi Tagicakibau at no 11, with Peter Grant coming in at flyhalf for Demetri Catrakilis.
Grant, who will make his 93rd appearance for the Stormers, will make his first start of 2014, while fit-again centre Juan de Jongh – who flew over to Sydney this week – will sit on the bench as he looks for his first taste of action this season.
Up front, fit-again tighthead prop Frans Malherbe (toe injury) takes over from Brok Harris in the no 3 jersey – with the latter reverting to the bench.
Michael Rhodes (shoulder) is back in the mix as the lock replacement for De Kock Steenkamp, who flew home with a groin injury earlier this week.
“The Brumbies are a very physical team, using direct runners off (number) nine, so we have to front up and put our bodies on the line,” Coetzee told www.iamastormer.com.
“They’re also a good kicking team. They use Jesse Mogg’s left foot and Nic White’s big right boot and then Matt Toomua has a massive kicking game too.
“But we’ve trained well in Sydney all week and we’re looking forward to the challenge. Like I’ve said before, there is no place to hide in Super Rugby and our challenge is to win both our remaining games in Australia.”
Stormers team: Gio Aplon, Kobus van Wyk, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian de Allende, Sailosi Tagicakibau, Peter Grant, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger (vice-captain), Deon Fourie, Michael Rhodes, Ruan Botha, Frans Malherbe, Tiaan Liebenberg and Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: Stephan Coetzee, Oliver Kebble, Brok Harris, Siya Kolisi, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Demetri Catrakilis, Juan de Jongh. – Sapa