Rugby 12.2.2015 02:33 pm

Stormers name side for Loftus

FILE PICTURE: Cheslin Kolbe of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

FILE PICTURE: Cheslin Kolbe of the Stormers during the Super Rugby match between DHL Stormers and Cell C Sharks. Picture: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee has labelled the Bulls ‘a great side’ ahead of their anticipated Super Rugby opener on Saturday at Loftus.

Coetzee on Thursday named his side for the clash and altogether six players in the match 23 will make their Stormers debuts at this level.

The Stormers however might lack real pace among their loose trio with the naming of two locks Michael Rhodes and Rynhardt Elstadt and the flanks to join skipper Duane Vermeulen.

“We’re looking forward to getting our campaign underway after a good pre-season,” said Coetzee.

“As everyone knows, there’s no greater challenge than facing the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld – be it your first game or your last game of the season,” said Coetzee.

Both starting wings – Dillyn Leyds and Johny Kotze – will make their debuts as well as former Pumas prop Vincent Koch, who has been prominent in pre-season outings.

The Stormers will start their season on the Highveld for the third year in a row – having played and lost away to the Bulls in 2013 and the Lions in 2014.

“This is a great Bulls team – jam-packed with Springboks,” added Coetzee.

“It’s a great challenge for us, but we have prepared well and, most importantly, the players are comfortable in their roles and with their responsibilities in the team and, of course, the expectations placed on them,” he said.

In midfield, it’s Bok v Bok, with the Stormers welcoming back sturdy Damian de Allende from a leg injury to partner Juan de Jongh to confront the Bulls’ Jan Serfontein and former Stormer JJ Engelbrecht.

De Allende is one of just three Springboks in the Stormers’ starting team, along with De Jongh and skipper Duane Vermeulen, while fit-again loose forward Nizaam Carr has been named on the bench to take the squad tally of Boks to four.

The new faces on the bench are hooker Bongi Mbonambi – who, of course, has Super Rugby experience with the Bulls – tight head prop Wilco Louw and outside back Huw
Jones.

Both Kotze and Leyds are graduates of the WP Rugby Institute and cup-winning WP Under-21 set-ups, with Leyds having had a brief taste of Super Rugby in the colours of the Western Force in 2014.

Stormers: Cheslin Kolbe, Johnny Kotze, Juan de Jongh, Damian de Allende, Dillyn Leyds, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen (capt), Michael Rhodes, Rynhardt Elstadt, Ruan Botha, Jean Kleyn,
Vincent Koch, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff

Bench: Bongi Mbonambi, Oli Kebble, Wilco Louw, Jurie van Vuuren, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Huw Jones.

 

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