Vermeulen leads Stormers into battle
Vermeulen leads Stormers into battleSHARE
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee named Springbok Duane Vermeulen as captain of the team to face the Cheetahs in Saturday's pre-season friendly in Bloemfontein.
Vermeulen gets the captaincy armband in the absence of Schalk Burger, Andries Bekker and Jean de Villiers.
Burger, Bekker and De Villiers – and the other injured or sick players – are all expected to feature against Boland next weekend.
Even without the trio of Burger, Bekker and De Villiers, Vermeulen will be one of seven capped Boks in action for the Stormers on Saturday – including new faces Jaco Taute (at fullback) and Pat Cilliers (from the bench) and also wing Bryan Habana, who will run out as vice-captain.
In all, nine players in the 24-man squad have not played for the Stormers before, with Taute, Damian de Allende and new hooker Martin Bezuidenhout amongst the newbies in the starting line-up.
On the bench, meanwhile, youngsters Stephan Coetzee, Rayn Smid and Pat Howard (all from last year's WP Under-21 team) will be hoping for their first taste of action, along with other new faces, Ruan Botha and Michael Rhodes who moved to Cape Town last year.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Kurt Coleman, 9 Louis Schreuder, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Don Armand, 6 Nizaam Carr, 5 De Kock Steenkamp, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Martin Bezuidenhout, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements – from: Stephan Coetzee, Pat Cilliers, Ruan Botha, Michael Rhodes, Rayn Smid, Dewaldt Duvenage, Pat Howard, Gerhard van den Heever, Joe Pietersen.
Date: Saturday, February 2
Venue: Free State Stadium, Bloemfontein
Kick-off: 17.00 (15.00 GMT)
Referee: Lourens van der Merwe