Etzebeth returns for Stormers
Etzebeth returns for StormersSHARE
Springbok lock Eben Etzebeth will make his first start of the Super Rugby season when the Stormers take on the high-flying Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday.
Etzebeth made his return to action – from an ankle injury which he sustained during pre-season – in last week's 17-18 loss to the Blues in Albany.
And this week the Bok bruiser will partner fellow international Andries Bekker in the second row, as the Stormers look to pick up a second win on the road in Australasia.
In other changes to the matchday 22, which did duty against the Blues, utility forward Don Armand joins the bench – along with wing Gerhard van den Heever, who flew over to Sydney as an injury replacement earlier this week.
Utility back Damian de Allende drops out of the squad altogether for this weekend's match.
"We didn't make many changes in order to retain some continuity for this week," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee explained.
"On the bench, Damian didn't do much wrong, but our thinking with getting Gerhard onto the bench is that he's a specialist wing and that will give us some more options."
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Gary van Aswegen, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Pat Cilliers, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Date: Saturday, May 11
Venue: Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (11.40 SA time; 09.40 GMT)
Referee: Chris Pollock (New Zealand)
Assistant referees: Andrew Lees (Australia), James Leckie (Australia)
TMO: George Ayoub (Australia)