Dillyn Leyds the way in George battle
PRE-SEASON BUILD-UP: Dillyn Leyds will captain a 30-man Stormers squad in their pre-season friendly against franchise partners, the South Western Districts Eagles, in George on Saturday.
The 24-year-old outside back missed most of last season due to a knee injury, but is back at full fitness to lead a strong squad for this clash at Outeniqua Park on Saturday.
There are several players in the squad such as Leyds, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt Coleman, Wilco Louw, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Godlen Masimla, Caylib Oosthuizen, Marcello Sampson, Dan Kriel and SP Marais who boast Super Rugby experience.
The squad is also littered with talented young players who will all be desperate to prove themselves and show that they have what it takes to play Super Rugby.
Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that the Eagles will provide the ideal test for his players, as he looks carefully at all of his options.
"We are looking at some different combinations and it is exciting to see what sort of depth we have at our disposal, so hopefully we learn a lot from the experience," he said.
Fleck added that his team are excited to play at Outeniqua Park and stand together with their fans where they always enjoy great support.
"The people in George are fantastic and have always loved the Stormers, so it will be great to get down there to play in front of them again," he said.
While, Janneman Stander, brother of Irish flank CJ, has been given the captain's armband of his side.
The 23-year-old, who like his older brother is also a loose forward, has represented SWD’s senior team since 2014. His more famous sibling, the 26-year-old CJ, played 10 Tests for Ireland last year.
The former Bulls loose forward left South Africa in 2012 to join the Munster club.
SWD Eagles: 15 Leighton Eksteen, 14 Shadward Fillies, 13 Kirsten Heyns, 12 Wilneth Engelbrecht, 11 Charles Radebe, 10 Johnny Welthagen, 9 Boela Abrahams, 8 Christo du Plessis, 7 Devon Raubenheimer, 6 Janneman Stander (captain), 5 Brendon Snyman, 4 Hardus Coetzee, 3 Basil Short, 2 Kelvin Fikster, 1 Juandre Digue
Replacements: 16 Teunis Niewoudt, 17 Brendan Haas, 18 Anton Smit, 19 Tiaan Weyers, 20 Devron Jansen, 21 Freginald Africa, 22 Gerswin Muller, 23 Arden Wesso, 24 Dillon Snell, 25 Lorenzo Gordan, 26 Rudi Michaels, 27 Quade Langeveld, 28 Justin Bhana, 29 Gideon Lambrecht, 30 Leegan Moos, 31 Rupino Plaatjies
Stormers: Juarno Augustus, Eital Bredenkamp, David Brits, Jaco Coetzee, Kurt Coleman, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Harlon Klaasen, Cheslin Kolbe, Dan Kriel, Dillyn Leyds (captain), Wilco Louw, Godlen Masimla, SP Marais, Daniel Maree, Dean Muir, Khanyo Ngcukana, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Caylib Oosthuizen, Justin Phillips, Carlu Sadie, Marcello Sampson, JD Schickerling, Marnus Schoeman, Chad Solomon, Reuben Terblanche, Frans van Wyk, EW Viljoen, Cobus Wiese, Damian Willemse, Eduard Zandberg.
Date: Saturday, February 4
Venue: Outeniqua Park, George
Kick-off: 16.00 (14.00 GMT)
Referee: Egon Seconds (South Africa)