Abner van Reenen of the Stormers during the Stormers training session at Bellville HPC. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix
Abner van Reenen of the Stormers during the Stormers training session at Bellville HPC. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Stormers opt for young talent and experience ahead of Lions clash

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Mar 26, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - The Stormers have mixed it up with experience and young talent for their final Preparation Series match against the Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 5.15pm).

There are a number of changes to the side that lost to the Bulls at Loftus last weekend.

Wings Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla make their return to the squad, while in midfield Ruhan Nel partners up with Dan du Plessis.

One of the biggest changes is at flyhalf, where Abner van Reenen gets a starting opportunity with Herschel Jantjies at scrumhalf in an all-new halfback pairing. The combination of Kade Wolhuter and Paul de Wet, who started last week in Pretoria, are on the replacements bench.

In the pack, youngster Evan Roos, who joined the Stormers from the Sharks, makes his first start for the Cape side. Springbok lock Marvin Orie, who is on the bench against his former side, is also up for a debut.

Captain Salmaan Moerat retains the captaincy and will link up with JD Schickerling in the second row, and in the front row, the combination of Ali Vermaak, Scarra Ntubeni and Neethling Fouché are back in the starting line-up. World Cup-winners Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi and Frans Malherbe’s presence among the replacements add to the strength of the bench.

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Dawie Snyman, Stormers head coach for this week, said that the aim is to keep building as the experienced players are integrated into the team.

"We have got some exciting players coming in this week and the key will be to build on what the rest of the squad have done over the last few weeks.

"It is great to be back at home at Cape Town Stadium and the whole squad is determined to make a big impression in our last preparation match," he said.

Teams for Cape Town Stadium:

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouché, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Kade Wolhuter, 23 Lyle Hendricks, 24 Chad Solomon, 25 Cornel Smit.

Lions: 15 EW Viljoen, 14 Stean Pienaar, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Sibahle Maxwane, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Ross Croné, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Sibusiso Sangweni, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Pieter Botha, 1 Ruan Dreyer.

Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Nathan McBeth, 18 Asenathi Ntlabakanye, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 MJ Pelser, 21 Morné van den Berg, 22 Fred Zeilinga, 23 Burger Odendaal.

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