The Stormers have made a number of injury-enforced changes to their squad to face the Bulls in their second Rainbow Cup SA match at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (kick-off 6.15pm).
In the only change to the front row, hooker Bongi Mbonambi comes in for Scarra Ntubeni, while David Meihuizen is at lock in place of JD Schickerling, who injured his ankle against the Sharks last week.
Flank Nama Xaba also picked up an ankle injury during training this week and has been replaced by Marcel Theunissen, while Evan Roos comes in for Willie Engelbrecht, who moves to the bench, at No 8.
The Stormers will also be without Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, who has not recovered from a quad contusion sustained in last week’s clash. This sees Godlen Masimla form the halfback pairing with Abner van Reenen, who is in for Kade Wolhuter after the young flyhalf ruptured knee ligaments (ACL) last week.
In midfield, Dan du Plessis starts at outside centre alongside Rikus Pretorius af 12. Ruhan Nel, who started at 13 last week, having joined the Springbok Sevens squad as they prepare for the Tokyo Olympics. Out wide, Leolin Zas and Sergeal Petersen start on the wings, with Seabelo Senatla suspended for four games.
Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that despite the forced changes, there is a lot to look forward to from a talented side this weekend.
"Many of the players coming in impressed in the preparation matches and will relish the opportunity to prove themselves in a big game such as this.
"We are excited to see what the new combinations can offer alongside the senior players who make up the core of this team," he said.
Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Abner van Reenen, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Cornel Smit, 23 Edwill van der Merwe, 24 Andre-Hugo Venter, 25 Adre Smith.