Schalk Burger And Jean De Villiers Return For Stormers

Vice-captain Schalk Burger and captain Jean De Villiers are both back in the Stormers team for Saturday’s Vodacom Super Rugby clash against the Cheetahs at Newlands kicking off at 17:05.  Burger missed last weekend’s 24-8 win over the Force, while De Villiers returns after a two-week lay-off.  The return of De Villiers sees Springbok training squad member Damian De Allende shift back onto the right-wing, whilst Burger takes over the Number 7 jersey from Siya Kolisi.

In other changes to the DHL Stormers line-up this week, Kurt Coleman returns as the starting flyhalf and loosehead prop Alistair Vermaak – after two impressive performances from the bench – will make his first Super Rugby start.  Prop Brok Harris, loose forward Kolisi, flyhalf Peter Grant and wing Kobus Van Wyk all drop down to the replacements bench this week, where they are joined by prop Oli Kebble who is back after sitting out with concussion for two weeks.  The Stormers and Toyota Cheetahs have met 12 times since 2006, with the Stormers winning eight games and the Cheetahs emerging victorious on four occasions.

Looking ahead to the weekend, with his team having lost 22-35 to the Cheetahs a month ago, coach Allister Coetzee told the Stormers website, “We learned a few lessons from our defeat last time out.  On that occasion we gave the Cheetahs too much space when they ran the ball.  We allowed them to get into that space, which you cannot do against them as they have players like Willie Le Roux who will punish you.  We must close up that space better than we did in Bloemfontein.”  Stuart Berry will referee the encounter.

The Stormers team for Saturday is as follows:

15. Jaco Taute
14. Damian De Allende
13. Juan De Jongh
12. Jean De Villiers (captain)
11. Cheslin Kolbe
10. Kurt Coleman
9. Nic Groom
8. Duane Vermeulen
7. Schalk Burger (vice-captain)
6. Nizaam Carr
5. Ruan Botha
4. Michael Rhodes
3. Pat Cilliers
2. Deon Fourie
1. Alistair Vermaak (Super Rugby starting debut for the Stormers)

16. Stephan Coetzee
17. Oli Kebble
18. Brok Harris
19. Jean Kleyn
20. Siya Kolisi
21. Dylon Frylinck (On Super Rugby debut for the Stormers)
22. Peter Grant
23. Kobus Van Wyk