CAPE TOWN - Sikhumbuzo Notshe will make his first start of the 2018 Super Rugby season when the Stormers take on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday (kick-off 5.15 pm).
Notshe replaces Nizaam Carr, who moves to the bench, at No 8 alongside skipper Siya Kolisi and Pieter-Steph du Toit in the back row, who will continue at openside and blindside flank respectively.
There are two changes to the backline, with Dillyn Leyds getting a start at fullback in the place of SP Marais, who moves to the bench. Leyds’ shift to 15 sees Craig Barry come in on the right wing, with JJ Engelbrecht returning from injury on the bench.
At scrumhalf, fit-again Dewaldt Duvenage replaces the injured Jano Vermaak in the run-on side to form the halfback pairing with Damian Willemse, while Paul de Wet will again get some game time off the bench.
Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that they are determined to return to winning ways after their bye, but also added that he isn’t expecting an easy afternoon in Durban.
“The break was good for the squad from both a mental and physical perspective and we returned fresh this week,” he said.
“I don’t think you’ll see the Sharks like they were against the Bulls again, they looked a bit flat. They certainly will look to front up this weekend. They’re pretty much in a similar position as us, they know it’s a massively important game for us.
"Their backs are against the wall, they’re in the same boat as us. And they certainly won’t be as subdued as they were against the Bulls. ”
Stormers team: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian De Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Relacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 SP Marais, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.