Damian De Allende and Rynhardt Elstadt are both set to make their first appearances for the Stormers this season after being named in the match-day squad for the clash with the Sunwolves at Newlands on Friday. Both players will take their place on the replacements bench for the Stormers’ historic first-ever match against the Super Rugby newcomers from Japan after recovering from pre-season injuries. There are two changes to the backline that started the Stormers 13-8 victory over the Jaguares in Buenos Aires, with halfbacks Nic Groom and Kurt Coleman both sidelined through injury.
Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder will partner flyhalf Jean-Luc Du Plessis, who makes his Stormers starting debut, whilst Godlen Masimla will provide cover from the replacements bench. In the front row a rotational switch sees props Oli Kebble and Vincent Koch come back into the starting line-up, with JC Janse Van Rensburg and Frans Malherbe taking their place amongst the replacements. Pieter-Steph Du Toit returns at lock after being rested against the Jaguares, whilst JD Schickerling will join him in the second row following an injury to Eben Etzebeth during the week.
The final change sees Schalk Burger come back into the starting line-up at eighthman with Nizaam Carr starting as a replacement for the first time this season. Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck says that following a well-deserved bye week his team is determined to continue their winning momentum: ‘The bye was definitely welcome after five hard games to start the season, and the challenge now is to build on what we have achieved thus far. It is great to be back at DHL Newlands, and hopefully we will be able to make the most of the home support.’
Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Kobus Van Wyk, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Juan De Jongh (co-captain), 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Jean-Luc Du Plessis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph Du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Oli Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 JC Janse Van Rensburg, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 Rynhardt Elstadt, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Godlen Masimla, 22 Huw Jones, 23 Damian De Allende.