Du Preez boost for Stormers
TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: Flyhalf Robert du Preez will make his return for the Stormers in their Super Rugby quarterfinal against the Chiefs at Newlands on Saturday.
After starting the first two games of the season, Du Preez injured his knee against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein in Round Two and comes into the starting line-up for Jean-Luc du Plessis - who was injured in the victory against the Southern Kings at Newlands last week.
There is just one other change to the backline, as Nic Groom returns after being rested against the Southern Kings - with Louis Schreuder and Brandon Thomson providing backline cover on the replacements bench.
In the front row Bongi Mbonambi starts at hooker, with Siyabonga Ntubeni moving to the replacements bench - where he will be joined by props Oliver Kebble and co-captain Frans Malherbe, who are both returning from injury.
Locks Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit both return after sitting out last week, whilst the only change to the loose trio sees Siyamthanda Kolisi return to the starting XV, with Rynhardt Elstadt and a fit-again Nizaam Carr amongst the replacements.
Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that having so many players return before the play-offs has been a timely boost.
"It is great to have these players back in the mix for what is obviously a very important match," Fleck said.
"The team is intent on going out there and embracing the occasion of playing a Vodacom Super Rugby quarterfinal at Newlands," he added.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Schalk Burger (co-captain), 7 Siyamthanda Kolisi, 6 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Alistair Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Siyabonga Ntubeni, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe (co-captain), 19 John Schickerling, 20 Rynhardt Elstadt, 21 Nizaam Carr, 22 Louis Schreuder, 23 Brandon Thomson.
Date: Saturday, July 23
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 19.00 (17.00 GMT; 05.00, Sunday July 24 NZ time)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jaco van Heerden (South Africa), AJ Jacobs (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)