Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has made four changes to his starting line-up for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash with the Reds in Cape Town.
There are three alteration to the pack and one change to the back-line which started in last weekend’s 37-20 win over the Blues.
In the loose trio, Cobus Wiese is back at blindside flank, which means that Pieter-Steph du Toit shifts across to lock with Chris van Zyl dropping down to the replacements bench.
In the front-row JC Janse van Rensburg will start at loosehead prop in a rotational switch with Steven Kitshoff. Tighthead prop Carlu Sadie and loose forwards Kobus van Dyk and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are also back in the matchday squad after being ruled out last week due to illness.
Amongst the backs, Craig Barry starts at full-back in place of Dillyn Leyds who has been ruled out with a calf injury. Justin Phillips and George Whitehead provide halfback cover on the replacements bench.
Fleck said that his team have their sights on making another step-up in their performance levels this weekend.
“It was great to get back to winning ways at Newlands last week, but we are certainly not taking anything for granted,” he explained.
“We want to go out there and improve in a number of areas, to maintain the positive trajectory we are on.”
Queensland Reds’ prop James Slipper will lead the team out in his 100th cap, after retaining the captaincy for this weekend’s match against the Stormers.
The Reds have made three changes to the starting XV which defeated the Jaguares in Buenos Aires last weekend.
Hooker Alex Mafi has been named in the starting side for the first time this season, with Brandon Paenga-Amosa shifting to the bench and Andrew Ready dropping out of the side.
Scrumhalf Ben Lucas has also been given his first start of the season, with Tate McDermott returning to the match-day 23 as reserve scrumhalf and James Tuttle dropping out.
Duncan Paia’aua is back in the starting inside centre jersey. His return has prompted a shuffle in the backline, with Samu Kerevi moving to outside centre, Chris Feauai-Sautia to the wing and Eto Nabuli to the bench.
Regular Reds captain Scott Higginbotham will make his return from suspension via the reserves, leaving Slipper to skipper the side for another week. Higginbotham’s return sees youngster Liam Wright drop out of the 23 for the first time this year.
Prop Sef Fa’agase has also been brought onto the bench for this match, in place of Ruan Smith, who made his Queensland debut last weekend.
Reds coach Brad Thorn said: “This is a really special match for James Slipper. He has been at Ballymore for more than a decade and the opportunity to play 100 games for your home state is significant. The occasion isn’t lost on anyone. We want to put in a performance we can all be proud of.
“We’ve made some changes to the side again. I’ve said a number of times we’re a work in progress and the benefit of this squad is there’s genuine depth and competition for spots.
“Alex (Mafi) has been doing a good job off the bench and we wanted to give him the chance to start. It’s a similar situation with Ben (Lucas). He brought good energy and experience to the field when he came on last week and that will be important this weekend.
“Chris and Samu have been doing a really good job in the centres but this is an opportunity for Duncan and a chance to get all three in the backline together.
“The Stormers are a tough team and we’ve had a difficult week with the travel from Argentina, but the guys are clear what their job is this weekend.”
The Reds play the Stormers at Newlands Stadium in Cape Town at 1:15am AEST this Sunday 25 March. The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports.
Stormers: 15 Craig Barry, 14 JJ Engelbrecht, 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 (c), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg
Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Kobus van Dyk, 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 George Whitehead
Reds: 15 Aidan Toua, 14 Filipo Daugunu, 13 Samu Kerevi, 12 Duncan Paia’aua, 11 Chris Feauai-Sautia, 10 Jono Lance, 9 Ben Lucas, 8 Caleb Timu, 7 Adam Korczyk, 6 Angus Scott-Young, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Izack Rodda, 3 Taniela Tupou, 2 Alex Mafi, 1 James Slipper (c)
Replacements: 16 Brandon Paenga-Amosa, 17 JP Smith, 18 Sef Fa’agase, 19 Harry Hockings, 20 Scott Higginbotham, 21 Tate McDermott, 22 Hamish Stewart, 23 Eto Nabuli
Date: Saturday, March 24
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17:15 local (15:15 GMT)
Referee: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Egon Seconds (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
TMO: Christie du Preez (South Africa)