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Super Rugby 2020: Preview – Lions v Stormers {15/2/20}

Lions v Stormers
Sunday 16 February, 2.05am NZT at Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg
Referee: Jaco Peyper
Played: 19
Won: Lions 6, Stormers 12, 1 Drawn
Last match: Lions 41, Stormers 22 (1 June 2019)

The Stormers have made a flying start to 2020 with victories over the Hurricanes and Bulls to sit at the top of the competition ladder. The most impressive aspect of their play has been their defence. They are yet to concede a point and are the only team in Super Rugby history to keep their opposition score-less in the opening two rounds.

The Lions have made just one change to their starting lineup for Saturday’s derby against the Stormers at Ellis Park.

Coach Ivan van Rooyen has dropped Duncan Matthews from the match-day squad altogether and brought in 21-year-old Manuel Rass to start at outside centre alongside Dan Kriel.

Loosehead prop Dylan Smith will reach a big milestone, earning his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby cap.

There’s a lot of movement of the bench, where new recruit Willem Alberts has been confirmed as a reserve after initially being bracketed with Ruan Vermaak, Hacjivah Dayimani returns from an injury layoff via the reserves and Wandisile Simelane is set for his long-awaited first game of the season if he comes on as a substitute later.

Stormers coach John Dobson has made three changes to his starting lineup for Saturday’s match against the Lions at Ellis Park.

Scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies and openside flank 8 Jaco Coetzee have suffered injuries and are replaced in the run-on XV by Godlen Masimla and Juarno Augustus, respectively.

Augustus’ selection at No 8 has Johan du Toit shifting to openside flank with his brother, Pieter-Steph, retaining his spot at blindside.

In the front row, Wilco Louw gets the nod at tighthead prop in place of Frans Malherbe who drops to the bench.

JD Schickerling and Paul de Wet are the new additions to the bench.

Dobson says his team face a serious challenge if they are to maintain their winning start to the season.

‘It is always a tough assignment to travel up to Johannesburg, but it is a challenge that the team has really embraced this week,’ he said.

‘We have made a solid start to the season at home, but we need to back that up with good performances away from home and that starts this weekend against the Emirates Lions.’

Average score: Lions 22 Stormers 24

Last five results
Sat, 01 Jun 2019 Lions v Stormers 41-22 Johannesburg
Sat, 23 Feb 2019 Lions v Stormers 17-19 Cape Town
Sat, 26 May 2018 Lions v Stormers 26-23 Cape Town
Sat, 07 Apr 2018 Lions v Stormers 52-31 Johannesburg
Sat, 15 Apr 20173 Lions v Stormers 29-16 Cape Town

Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (c), 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith
Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Willem Alberts/Ruan Vermaak, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Dillon Smit, 23 Wandisile Simelane

Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Johan du Toit, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (c)
Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Ernst van Rhyn, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis

Lions vs Stormers
@ Emirates Airlines Park
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Rasta Rasivhenge (South Africa)
Television match official: Willie Vos (South Africa)


14 February Blues v Crusaders Auckland 7:05 PM
14 February Rebels v Waratahs Melbourne 9:15 PM
15 February Sunwolves v Chiefs Tokyo 4:45 PM
15 February Hurricanes v Sharks Wellington 7:05 PM
15 February Brumbies v Highlanders Canberra 9:15 PM
16 February Lions v Stormers Johannesburg 2:05 AM
16 February Jaguares v Reds Buenos Aires 10:40 AM
Bye: Bulls

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