Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder has been awarded a rare starting XV berth and hooker Bongi Mbonambi has also cracked a run-on berth. They have been rotated with Nic Groom and Scarra Ntubeni respectively.
Loosehead prop Alistair Vermaak has been named on the bench and has been preferred to Oli Kebble. Vermaak was not been in the match-day squad for the past three matches.
The confidence stems from the full house of five log points they bagged against the Waratahs last week when they emerged with flying colours from a dark rugby corner brought on by a three-match trail of defeats.
The record of the Force shows seven defeats on the trot after they defeated the Waratahs at the start of the season. Their Waratahs conquest is the only thing they have in common with the Stormers.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee feels the match-day squad has been chosen with the strengths of the Force in mind.
“Unlike the Waratahs, the Force will not look to engage us,” said Coetzee. “They revolve their game around a solid pack, good defence and a strong kicking game, and where we could be in trouble against them is if we let them out-kick us and get territorial ascendancy. “The exiting from our 22m area is going to be crucial this week, and that is something that (Stormers flyhalf) Demetri (Catrakilis) is good at.
“Our intention will be to reverse the Force game on them. In other words we will look for territory and force them into areas of the field where they will be less comfortable and won’t be able to execute their plan.”
Force coach Michael Foley also said the ability to match the Stormers physically was crucial for his team.
“It’s important that we’re up for the physical challenge in defence and at the breakdown which has been a feature of our performances in our past three matches,” said Foley.
“While playing physically is a foundation, we have to play smart to finish off the effort that’s being put in every week.
“When ‘decision making’ is mentioned, it’s easy to assume there’s a level of complexity, but it’s a simple focus on firstly creating momentum and secondly playing with awareness to take opportunities we’re creating.”
The match will wrap up the Stormers’ four-match Australasian tour.