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Rugby | Vodacom Super Rugby

Sikhumbuzo Notshe © Gallo Images

Stormers go for pace in pack

Pace up front and bulk out wide appears to be the DHL Stormers’ recipe for success against the Waratahs in their opening Vodacom Super Rugby tour match in Sydney on Saturday.

The big bruising and in-form Cobus Wiese has been omitted from a team that includes the speedy Sikhumbuzo Notshe on the bench and Pieter-Steph du Toit back in the engine room alongside JD Schickerling. There are three changes at the back, with SP Marais coming in at fullback, thus necessitating a shift to the wing for Dillyn Leyds, while JJ Engelbrecht comes in at outside centre for EW Viljoen.

The latter drops to the bench, thus further emphasising the bulk option out wide, with Seabelo Senatla, who showed good form against the Jaguares last week, dropping out of the squad completely. Both Viljoen and Engelbrecht can also play on the wing so it is conceivable that the Stormers could at some stage of the game have the biggest trio of players standing next to each other from inside centre (Damian de Allende) to wing (Viljoen or Engelbrecht) they have had in many years .

The Stormers are likely adopting a horses for courses policy. Size is needed at the back when you up against a team with Israel Folau in it, and it is always needed against New Zealand teams. But Wiese’s absence can probably be explained by a quest for greater mobility against the Waratahs pack and the former Upington schoolboy being saved for the more physical challenges that await the Stormers in New Zealand from next week.

Chris van Zyl moves to the bench to accommodate the return of Du Toit, who missed the opening match because of injury. Schickerling moves from the No 5 jersey to the No 4 jersey.

There is one other change to the match day squad that was published last week. Ramone Samuels was called into the starting team against the Jaguares at the last minute to replace Bongi Mbonambi, who underwent an emergency appendix operation, and will continue in the No 2 jersey against the Waratahs, with promising young hooker Dean Muir getting another opportunity to play off the bench.

DHL Stormers team: 15.SP Marais, 14.Dillyn Leyds, 13.JJ Engelbrecht, 12.Damian de Allende, 11.Raymond Rhule, 10.Damian Willemse, 9.Dewaldt Duvenage, 8.Nizaam Carr, 7.Kobus van Dyk, 6.Siya Kolisi (captain), 5.Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4.JD Schickerling, 3.Wilco Louw, 2.Ramone Samuels, 1.Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16.Dean Muir, 17.JC Janse van Rensburg, 18.Carlu Sadie, 19.Chris van Zyl, 20.Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21.Justin Phillips, 22.George Whitehead, 23.EW Viljoen.


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