DHL Stormers choose for 2014 opener
Head coach Allister Coetzee has announced his starting line-up for the DHL Stormers’ first game of the 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby season – against the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday (kick-off 19h10).
Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers will lead the DHL Stormers in their season-opener, with deputy Schalk Burger lining up in the No.7 jersey.
Burger will pack down in an all-Springbok loose trio – alongside Siya Kolisi and Duane Vermeulen – whilst three starting players will be on Super Rugby debut, with a further two competition debutants on the bench for the DHL Stormers.
Former WP age-group star Kobus van Wyk has been rewarded for his outstanding pre-season form with a place on the wing and Michael van der Spuy will partner Jean de Villiers at centre in the absence of injured Bok midfielder Juan de Jongh.
Argentine lock Manuel Carizza will spearhead the Stormers’ line-out in his first taste of Super Rugby action, whilst flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis will make his first Super Rugby appearance for the DHL Stormers – having being an Absa Currie Cup regular for DHL WP and also playing at this level for the Kings.
On the bench, meanwhile, Oliver Kebble will provide prop cover and fellow young gun Ryno Eksteen (recently named in the SA Under-20 training squad) will serve as the additional outside back – both players also being on Super Rugby debut.
“The Lions showed over the weekend that in Vodacom Super Rugby any team can beat any (other) team,” said DHL Stormers boss Allister Coetzee on www.iamastormer.com.
“They were great at the breakdowns and their coach has an attacking mindset which worked wonders for the team in last season’s Absa Currie Cup competition.
“We also won’t lose sight of the fact that the match will be on the Highveld and the Lions have a reputation for pulling out all the stops in the final 20 minutes.”
The DHL Stormers team for Saturday (v the Lions – kick-off 19h10) is as follows:
15. Gio Aplon 14. Kobus van Wyk 13. Michael van der Spuy 12. Jean de Villiers (captain) 11. Damian de Allende 10. Demetri Catrakilis 9. Louis Schreuder 8. Duane Vermeulen 7. Schalk Burger (vice-captain) 6. Siya Kolisi 5. Manuel Carizza4. Rynhardt Elstadt 3. Frans Malherbe 2. Scarra Ntubeni 1. Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16. Deon Fourie 17. Oliver Kebble 18. Pat Cilliers 19. Michael Rhodes 20. Nizaam Carr 21. Nic Groom 22. Kurt Coleman 23. Ryno Eksteen
Referee: Jaco Peyper