CAPE TOWN – Robbie Fleck needed to do something drastic following the 40-3 drubbing at the hands of the Bulls, and he did just that by making several changes to the Stormers side that will face the Lions on Saturday.
Back come Springbok stalwarts Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe from injury – although they will play off the bench at Newlands.
Fleck has rung the changes in the backline in an effort to get their attack going, as well as introduce more liberal use of the boot, after finding it difficult to get out of their own half at times against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.
Springbok Damian Willemse has been shifted to fullback – where national coach Rassie Erasmus wants to see him – which results in Jean-Luc du Plessis making his first Super Rugby start in a long time, following his long-term injury problems.
An injury to Dillyn Leyds sees WP Currie Cup star Sergeal Petersen come in at right wing, while there is just one new face in the pack, with Chris van Zyl replacing Salmaan Moerat at No 4 lock.
But there is a heavyweight bench that will look to make a major difference in the second half, with Etzebeth and Malherbe also joined by back-up flyhalf Josh Stander.
Saturday’s match will start at 5.15pm.
Team: @SergeaLSP15 to make his DHL Stormers debut against Emirates Lions at DHL Newlands on Saturday. Damian Willemse is at fullback, JL du Plessis at flyhalf and Chris van Zyl at lock. Eben Etzebeth, Frans Malherbe, Jaco Coetzee and Josh Stander on bench https://t.co/0xzhtPjHAd— DHL STORMERS (@THESTORMERS) February 21, 2019
15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
Bench: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corné Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Dan du Plessis.@ashfakmohamed