I believe in playing 100 percent fit players
Loose forward Duane Vermeulen will not feature for the Stormers in the Super Rugby semifinal at Newlands on Saturday.
Despite returning to training last week and taking part in contact on Tuesday, Vermeulen was not included in the team that will host the Sharks in Cape Town.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said that although the physical Vermeulen has made good progress, he is not yet completely match-fit so it would be unwise to gamble in such an important game.
"We are taking it one day at a time and he has shown great progress, but to play at thi intensity at this time of the season it is not the right thing to do," he said.
This means that hooker Deon Fourie, dubbed the team's energizer bunny, will again feature at No.8 in an unchanged loose forward combination.
"I believe in playing 100 percent fit players, and I think Deon Fourie has played well and can do the job for us.
"Deon is a really energetic player, he is all over the field and has got an engine. He is an incredibly hard worker and he is very good on the ground.
"Duane obviously brings something else, but I think we have coped throughout the season up to now and this is another opportunity for Deon to show his versatility in quite an intense and high-quality game," said Coetzee.
In the front row Brok Harris starts at tighthead, with Frans Malherbe dropping to a replacement bench that features two props - with forgotten Springbok Deon Carstens elevated to the reserves.
"Brok Harris is a seasoned campaigner at tighthead prop, he has been starting in finals and semifinals before and for us that is the better way to do that, with Frans making a huge impact off the bench.
"It is a top-class pack that we are playing against with international players. We have given Frans enough time to start this season which has been the plan for his development from the start," said Coetzee.
Eben Etzebeth returns from injury and will start at lock alongside fellow Bok Andries Bekker in the second row.
Don Armand provides loose forward cover from the bench in place of Canadian Jebb Sinclair, who does not qualify to play in the semifinals.
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Deon Fourie, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Don Armand, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Date: Saturday, July 28
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00)
Referee: Steve Walsh
Assistant referees: Jaco Peyper, Marius Jonker
TMO: Shaun Veldsman