Taute to start at fullback
Jaco Taute has been named at fullback for the Stormers' first home game of the Super Rugby season against the Hurricanes on Friday.
Jaco Taute has been named at fullback for the Stormers' first home game of the Super Rugby season.
The Stormers will host the Hurricanes at Newlands on Friday, with Taute joining the starting line-up at fullback and Gio Aplon shifting across to the wing.
Despite suggestions a couple of weeks ago that a knee injury could end his career, Taute has recovered sufficiently to be named in the starting XV.
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said that he had no hesitation in starting Taute despite his lengthy injury lay-off.
"Jaco Taute has got to play at some stage, whether you play him off the bench or start him he has got to play. That is the only way he will reach his best again.
"Jaco is experienced, he is a Springbok, and with Gio Aplon able to play at wing it is a great opportunity for him to start in the 15 role," he said.
Damian de Allende will move from the wing to partner skipper Jean de Villiers in the Stormers midfield, the latter shifting to the No.13 jersey and Michael van der Spuy dropping out of the matchday squad altogether.
Veteran flank Schalk Burger is another player who has made a dramatic recovery from injury, after he left the field against the Lions with a groin injury. Despite concerns about his fitness earlier in the week, he was named in the starting XV.
Argentinean lock Manuel Carizza, another injury concern and said to have been the "most serious" of the injury setbacks, has also been named to start.
Coetzee said that Crizza has responded well to treatment and came through training on Tuesday unscathed.
"Manuel has really responded well to treatment, he had a full session today and it was a bit more than semi-contact and he came through it very well. We had a live scrummaging session this morning so he has been tested in that department against the Vodacom Cup team with a referee here and he came through that as well.
The rest of the team is unchanged from the line-up that went down 10-34 to the Lions last Saturday, as Coetzee looks to maintain consistency in selection.
"I've learnt from this competition that you take nothing for granted, it is never easy," said Coetzee.
"The Hurricanes have four All Blacks in the backline, that is where their strength is," added the Stormers boss.
"We have to make sure we come up with a good performance.
"The Hurricanes, over the years, have never been scared to run the ball. That is their strength - as well as creating opportunities, with their ability to off-load - and will make it challenging for our defence."
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Manuel Carizza, 4 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.
Date: Friday, February 26'
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT; 06.10, Saturday, March 1 NZ time)
Referee: Steve Walsh (Australia)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommenstein (South Africa)