Stormers change one for Blues
The Stormers have made just just one change to their starting XV for their clash against the Blues in Cape Town on Saturday.
Having opened their campaign with a clinical 29-17 win over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend, Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee has wisely kept the changes to a minimum.
In an enforced change, however, lock Jean Kleyn misses out with a calf muscle injury, handing a start to fellow young gun and lock-cum-flank Jurie van Vuuren – after the latter came off the bench at Loftus Versfeld.
In a further change to the 23-man squad that played away last Saturday, fit-again Springbok loose forward Siya Kolisi comes in for Van Vuuren in the number 19 shirt – meaning Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt will cover at lock whilst giving the hosts two explosive back-row options from the bench – with Springbok Nizaam Carr also amongst the replacements – in the process.
“Frans Malherbe and Kobus van Wyk are not quite there yet (in terms of fitness), but, that said, it’s great to be able to reward our players (with selection) after last week’s performance,” Coetzee told the Stormers’ official website.
“Losing Jean is a blow, in terms of continuity, but we didn’t want to risk him – after all it’s a long season.”
Saturday will see skipper Duane Vermeulen play his 100th Super Rugby match – 80th for the Stormers since 2009, along with 20 matches for the Cheetahs between 2007 and 2008.
Blues name side, Moala heads home
The Stormers are coming off a 29-17 victory over the Bulls in Pretoria last weekend. They have made just one change to the previous weekend’s starting line-up, with lock Jean Kleyn stepping off the field due to a calf muscle injury and Jurie van Vuuren stepping on in his place.
Kick-off will be at 4.05am NZT this Sunday, shown live on Sky Sport One from 4 am. For Blues updates, follow @BluesRugbyTeam on Twitter.
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Michael Rhodes, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Jurie van Vuuren, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.
Blues: 15 Charles Piutau, 14 Ben Lam, 13 Hamish Northcott, 12 Francis Saili, 11 Tevita Li , 10 Ihaia West, 9 Jimmy Cowan, 8 Jerome Kaino (c), 7 Brendon O’Connor, 6 Steven Luatua, 5 Hayden Triggs , 4 Josh Bekhuis, 3 Angus Ta’avao, 2 James Parsons, 1 Tony Woodcock.
Replacements: 16 Matt Moulds, 17 Ofa Tu’ungafasi, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Patrick Tuipulotu, 20 Luke Braid, 21 Jamison Gibson-Park, 22 Dan Bowden, 23 Lolagi Visinia
Date: Saturday, February 21
Kick-off: 17:05 local (15:05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Television match officials: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)