Ton-up for Stormers skipper
Ton-up for Stormers skipperSHARE
Stormers captain Jean de Villiers will make his 100th Super Rugby appearance when he leads his team out against the Chiefs in Hamilton on Friday.
De Villiers will become just the second Stormers Super Rugby centurion, following in the footsteps of lock Andries Bekker who reached that landmark in last year's tournament.
The 33-year-old star made his debut against the Sharks on February 25, 2005 in the left-wing position and he will line up in his customary centre position this week in what is a deserved 100th Super Rugby game.
"Jean epitomises what it means to be a Stormer," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said.
"He is a true warrior and a real WP Rugby man and we're hoping to make this 100th game special for him, which he deserves."
Meanwhile, Coetzee has made three enforced changes to the Stormers' starting line-up for Friday's clash against the double defending champions on their home patch.
Ruan Botha will start at lock (in place of the injured Michael Rhodes) and his earn his first Super Rugby cap in the process, whilst the experienced duo of Tiaan Liebenberg (hooker) and Brok Harris (tighthead prop) come into the front row as replacements for Siyabonga Ntubeni and Frans Malherbe, respectively.
Malherbe, despite suffering a toe injury last week, drops down to the bench, whilst loose forward Siya Kolisi is back in the match-day squad after resting his troublesome AC Joint last weekend and Vodacom Cup hooker Stephan Coetzee comes into a Super Rugby matchday squad for the first time.
Should Malherbe not come through a final fitness test this week, Boland Cavaliers prop Martin Dreyer – who will be flying to New Zealand from Cape Town with hooker Coetzee on Tuesday – will come into the matchday 23.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Kobus van Wyk, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Gio Aplon, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Ruan Botha, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Stephan Coetzee, 17 Oliver Kebble, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Siya Kolisi, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Peter Grant, 23 Sailosi Tagicakibau.
Date: Friday, March 14
Venue: Waikato Stadium, Hamilton
Kick-off: 19.35 (06.35 GMT; 08.35 SA time)
Referee: Craig Joubert (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Nick Briant, Shane McDermott
TMO: Ben Skeen