CAPE TOWN – Four players could make their Stormers debut against the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday (3.05pm kickoff).
Coach Robbie Fleck included Cheetahs recruit Raymond Rhule in the starting line-up for their Super Rugby opener, while prop Carlü Sadie, flyhalf George Whitehead (who’s on loan from Griquas) and JJ Engelbrecht could earn their first Stormers caps if they come off the bench.
Rhule will form an exciting back-three with fellow Springbok Dillyn Leyds and Sevens superstar Seabelo Senatla, and Damian de Allende will partner EW Viljoen in midfield.
Damian Willemse will start at No 10, with Dewladt Duvenage as his halfback partner.
Stormers skipper Siya Kolisi will form the loose trio with Nizaam Carr, who recently returned from a superb stint with Wasps, and Cobus Wiese.
In the second row, JD Schickerling and Chris van Zyl will operate the lineouts in the absence of Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit – who failed his fitness test and could not be selected for the opener as a result.
The Stormers will boast an all-Springbok front row in the form of tighthead Wilco Louw, hooker Bongi Mbonambi and loosehead Steven Kitshoff.
Team for Newlands:
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Cobus Wiese, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Bench: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlü Sadie, 19 Jan de Klerk, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 George Whitehead, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.