CAPE TOWN – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has made five changes to his starting line-up to face the Highlanders on Friday in Dunedin (kick-off 8.35 AM SA time), with lock Salmaan Moerat set to make his Stormers debut off the bench.
Moerat will provide cover for the lock pairing of Jan de Klerk and Chris van Zyl, with JD Schickerling having been ruled out for four months. Pieter-Steph du Toit is recovering from concussion and has also been named on the bench and is bracketed with George Whitehead, meaning that he will be on the bench if he is fit by Friday.
In the back row, Kobus van Dyk will start at blindside flank in the absence of Cobus Wiese, who is nursing a shoulder injury, and in the front row Steven Kitshoff comes back into the run-on side, with JC Janse van Rensburg on the replacements bench.
The only change to the backline sees Dillyn Leyds move back to wing to make way for the returning flyhalf Damian Willemse - who missed out last week due to the haematoma he sustained against the Waratahs - with Seabelo Senatla ruled out due to a groin strain and JJ Engelbrecht back in the matchday squad, on the bench.
Fleck said that his team will be going all-out to end their tour on a high after defeats to the Waratahs and Crusaders.
“We have had some brave performances on this tour and the players are looking forward to the challenge in Dunedin against the Highlanders,” he said.
15 Ben Smith (captain), 14 Waisake Naholo, 13 Rob Thompson, 12 Teihorangi Walden, 11 Tevita Nabura, 10 Lima Sopoaga, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Luke Whitelock, 7 Dillon Hunt, 6 Liam Squire, 5 Tom Franklin, 4 Jackson Hemopo, 3 Siate Tokolahi, 2 Liam Coltman, 1 Daniel Lienert-Brown
16 Greg Pleasants-Tate, 17 Aki Seiuli, 18 Tyrel Lomax, 19 Shannon Frizell, 20 Elliot Dixon, 21 Josh Renton, 22 Fletcher Smith, 23 Matt Faddes
15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit / George Whitehead, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.