Stormers doubling up in Knysna and Soweto
KNYSNA - The Stormers will conclude their pre-season fixtures this weekend as they face the Southern Kings in Knysna on Friday and the Sharks in Soweto on Sunday.
Stormers coach John Dobson has named both teams, which feature some overlap as some players will feature at both Loerie Park in Knysna on Friday night and the FNB Stadium in Soweto on Sunday afternoon.
There are three Springboks in the forward pack that will run out at 7pm on Friday in Knysna in captain and tighthead prop Frans Malherbe, hooker Bongi Mbonambi and lock Hilton Lobberts.
Lobberts will be joined by the likes of Godlen Masimla, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Seabelo Senatla and Ben-Jason Dixon in starting against the Southern Kings and then travelling up to Soweto to feature on the replacements bench against the Cell C Sharks on Sunday.
The team that will start at 1pm on Sunday at the FNB Stadium features six Springboks, including captain Siya Kolisi who will be at the back of the scrum at No.8.
Dobson said that while it has been a logistical challenge, this weekend will give his squad a good measure of where they stand a fortnight out from their opening game against the Hurricanes at Newlands on February 1.
"This weekend will be a good physical and mental test for us as a group and I am looking forward to seeing how the players respond to the challenge.
"This is an important step and we hope to keep building towards the start of the season and that opening game at DHL Newlands," he said.
Stormers team v Southern Kings
: 15 David Kriel, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Michal Hazner, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Johan du Toit, 7 De Wet Marais, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Ben-Jason Dixon, 4 Hilton Lobberts, 3 Frans Malherbe (captain), 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak.
16 Schalk Erasmus, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 DJ Putter, 19 Ruan Laubser, 20 Hannes Gous, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Sihle Njezula, 24 Lyle Hendricks.
Stormers team v Sharks:
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Siya Kolisi (captain), 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 David Meihuizen, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Hilton Lobberts, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Thys Kitshoff, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 24 Seabelo Senatla, 25 Michal Hazner, 26 David Kriel.