Stormers bulk up starting XV
Stormers bulk up starting XVSHARE
Fit-again forwards De Kock Steenkamp and Deon Fourie have been named in the Stormers starting line-up for Saturday's Super Rugby encounter against the Kings at Newlands.
Steenkamp replaces Gerbrandt Grobler in the second row, whilst Don Armand makes way for Fourie on the side of the scrum. Grobler and Armand drop to the bench, with Marius Coetzee and Rohan Kitshoff dropping out of the matchday 22 from last weekend.
Lock Steenkamp has not featured for the Stormers since picking up a chest injury against the Blues on May 3, whilst hooker-cum-flank Fourie missed last Saturday's 20-15 win over the Reds with a rib injury.
"For the first time this season, injuries have not dictated to us from the previous match," said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.
Having players of the experience of Steenkamp and Fourie will be invaluabe for the Stormers when they face the Kings this weekend. It seems that that is the reasoning behind selecting the two in front of Gerbrandt Grobler and Don Armand.
"Both De Kock and Deon have been key men for us and, thus, they retain their starting place – despite Gerbrandt and Don having done so well for us against the Reds.
"Our depth on the bench has – in turn – also been bolstered, so we will be looking to those players to make an impact when called upon," Coetzee added.
Even though two of the Stormers' best players – lock Eben Etzebeth and captain Jean de Villiers – did not train on Wednesday, the coach said they are just being managed.
"There has been no request from the national coach," Coetzee said, when asked about the absence from training of the duo.
"Eben Etzebeth was sent home this morning with a light cold.
"We have been managing Jean [de Villiers], and he will be training full-on at captain's."
The coach explained that he is happy with the depth they now have in the second and back rows.
"I think Gerbrandt was excellent for a guy who had just stepped in, but it is great to have De Kock Steenkamp back.
"Eben has also done a good job but he is moving back to four.
"De Kock spent the whole of the Currie Cup last year running the line-outs and also this year so it is good to have that experience against a good pack like the Kings.
"I thought Eben did well, but it was just one game. You have got to do it on a regular basis before you can say that he has really grown into the No.5 position, it is still a process but that was a good start.
"Before he got injured De Kock Steenkamp was one of the forwards with the highest work-rate. He has been hitting rucks and his involvement have been enormous so I am actually really excited to see him there.
Fourie at 7 "It is neither here nor there, we just felt that Siya Kolisi in terms of the way we want to play and the defensive system, he operates well.
"Against the Rebels when he went to seven there were a few details, as a youngster like Siya he is a quality player but you don't want to overload. There is quite a lot of details that you have to know as a No.7, so to keep him there is a lot simpler.
"Deon Fourie is a very experienced player, he has played eight before, he has played six, he has played hooker so he adapts well and he will get that responsibility."
The Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Deon Fourie, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Chris Heiberg, 18 Gerbrandt Grobler, 19 Don Armand, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gary van Aswegen, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Date: Saturday, June 1
Venue: Newlands, Cape Town
Kick-off: 17.05 (15.05 GMT)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Jonathan Kaplan (South Africa), Linston Manuels (South Africa)
TMO: Deon van Blommestein (South Africa)