Stormers rely on 'experience' at Loftus

Thu, 13 Jul 2017 12:22
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TEAM ANNOUNCEMENT: The Stormers welcomed back the experienced trio of Rynhardt Elstadt, Juan de Jongh and Sikhumbuzo Notshe for their trip to Pretoria on Saturday.

The Stormers will use the encounter with the Bulls, at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, as a final 'practice' ahead of their Super Rugby quarterfinal match next week.

They head into the play-offs ranked third and will play the team that finishes the final round ranked sixth – which will be either the Hurricanes or the Chiefs.

Elstadt comes back into the starting line-up on the flank, while De Jongh and Notshe make their return from injury on the replacements bench.

The only other changes to the run-on team come in the tight five, with prop Frans Malherbe and lock Eben Etzebeth having recovered from the flu which forced them to miss last week's 52-15 victory against the Sunwolves at Newlands.

As a result Wilco Louw and Chris van Zyl will feature off the replacements bench, along with De Jongh and Notshe.

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck said that his team is looking forward to another hard-fought encounter with the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld.

"We want to make a step-up in a number of areas this weekend and we know that we will face a total onslaught from the Bulls, which is what we are looking for," Fleck said.

"We know that we are going to have to produce a big performance on Saturday and we are looking forward to the challenge," he added.

Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Cheslin Kolbe, 13 EW Viljoen, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siyamthanda Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg.
Replacements: 16 Ramone Samuels, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Juan de Jongh, 23 Dan Kriel.

Date: Saturday, July 15
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 15.05 (13.05 GMT)
Referee: Kubo Shuhei (Japan)
Assistant referees: Federico Anselmi (Argentina), Jaco van Heerden (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Sat, 22 July 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 07h35 Christchurch
Lions v Sharks 12h30 Johannesburg
Stormers v Chiefs 15h00 Cape Town
Griquas v Blue Bulls 17h30 Kimberley
Sun, 23 July 2017
Pumas v Golden Lions 12h30 Nelspruit
Fri, 28 July 2017
Golden Lions v Griquas 17h00 Johannesburg
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