Etzebeth reaches his Stormers half-ton

Wed, 26 Apr 2017 07:21

TEAM ANNOUNCEMENTL Springbok Eben Etzebeth will play his 50th Super Rugby game for the Stormers when they face the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday.

The imposing 25-year-old lock, who made his Super Rugby debut in 2012, has been named Stormers vice-captain for the clash, with regular skipper Siya Kolisi returning after being rested last week.

Kolisi will start at openside flank, with Nizaam Carr shifting to No.8 and Pieter-Steph du Toit continuing on the blindside - whilst Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Kobus van Dyk will provide loose forward cover.

There are a number of changes to the tight five.

Jan de Klerk is getting a chance to partner Etzebeth in the second row, while props Oliver Kebble and Frans Malherbe are starting - with JC Janse van Rensburg and Wilco Louw are on the replacements bench.

In the backline scrumhalf Jano Vermaak returns to the starting line-up to partner flyhalf Robert du Preez, with Dewaldt Duvenage on the replacements bench.

The shoulder injury to midfielder Dan du Plessis sees Dan Kriel start at inside centre, with the experienced former Highlander Shaun Treeby set to province an impact in the second half.

Fullback Sarel Marais returns from a groin niggle which kept him out of action last week, which means that Dillyn Leyds moves back to the left wing with Bjorn Basson amongst the replacements.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is determined to rise to the occasion in Dunedin.

"We have worked hard as a group to ensure that we bring the necessary intensity against the Highlanders this weekend," Fleck said.

"This is a great opportunity for us to show what we are capable of in a tough environment against quality opposition, so everyone is looking forward to the challenge," he said.

Stormers: 15 Sarel Marais, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Jan de Klerk, 4 Eben Etzebeth (vice-captain), 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Oliver Kebble.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Kobus van Dyk, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Dewaldt Duvenage, 22 Shaun Treeby (Stormers debut), 23 Bjorn Basson.

Date: Friday, April 28
Venue: Forsyth Barr Stadium, Dunedin
Kick-off: 19.35 (09.35 SA time; 07.35 GMT)
Referee: Glen Jackson (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Brendon Pickerill (New Zealand), Mike Fraser (New Zealand)
TMO: Aaron Paterson (New Zealand)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 29 July 2017
Crusaders v Chiefs 07h35 Christchurch
Golden Lions v Griquas 10h00 Johannesburg
Lions v Hurricanes 12h30 Ellis Park
Sharks v Pumas 15h00 Durban
Sun, 30 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Western Province 12h30 Bloemfontein
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 43 | 36
Sat, 22 July 2017
Griquas v Blue Bulls 45 | 51
Stormers v Chiefs 11 | 17
Lions v Sharks 23 | 21
Crusaders v Highlanders 17 | 0
Fri, 21 July 2017
Free State Cheetahs v Sharks 47 | 12
Brumbies v Hurricanes 16 | 35
Sat, 15 July 2017
Sharks v Lions 10 | 27
Bulls v Stormers 33 | 41
Force v Waratahs 40 | 11
Hurricanes v Crusaders 31 | 22
Chiefs v Brumbies 28 | 10
Sunwolves v Blues 43 | 21
Fri, 14 July 2017
Kings v Cheetahs 20 | 21
Rebels v Jaguares 29 | 32
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 15 6 0 9 34
Force 15 6 0 9 26
Reds 15 4 0 11 21
Waratahs 15 4 0 11 19
Rebels 15 1 1 13 9
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 15 14 0 1 63
Hurricanes 15 12 0 3 58
Chiefs 15 12 1 2 57
Highlanders 15 11 0 4 51
Blues 15 7 1 7 37
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 15 10 0 5 43
Cheetahs 15 4 0 11 21
Bulls 15 4 0 11 20
Sunwolves 15 2 0 13 12
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 15 14 0 1 65
Sharks 15 9 1 5 42
Jaguares 15 7 0 8 33
Kings 15 6 0 9 28