Stormers make Covid-19 enforced changes for Pumas clash
CAPE TOWN - Springbok front rowers Steven Kitshoff and Scarra Ntubeni won’t be available for the Stormers’ Super Rugby Unlocked match against the Pumas in Nelspruit on Friday (kick-off 7pm) after coming into contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.
The duo have been isolated according to Covid-19 protocols, and apart from their omission, there is one other injury-enforced change to the squad that beat the Lions in their opener at Newlands last weekend.
Loosehead prop Leon Lyons – who was named on the bench last week but didn’t get onto the field as Kitshoff went the full 80 - will earn his first Stormers cap when he starts in the front row at Mbombela Stadium.
In the other changes, wing Edwill van der Merwe will start in the No 14 jersey in place of the injured Sergeal Petersen, while up front lock Chris van Zyl gets a start in a rotational switch.
This means that prop Kwenzo Blose and hooker Chad Solomon are both among an extended list of replacements along with flank Jaco Coetzee, scrumhalf Godlen Masimla and utility back Tristan Leyds, who all did not feature last week. The replacements bench will be finalised on Friday.
Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that the trip to Nelspruit will be a good chance for his team to show what they learned from their opening match.
“We would like to see growth and improvement in certain areas of our game and an away game in Nelspruit will be a good test of that.
“We have some exciting players coming into the mix this week, so we are looking forward to seeing what they have to offer as we keep building,” he said.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Leon Lyons.
Replacements (from): 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Jaco Coetzee, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Michal Haznar, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Tristan Leyds.