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Willemse returns for Stormers to face Highlanders

Damian Willemse returns from injury and will play Super Rugby this weekend

Damian Willemse has returned to full fitness and been named in the Stormers Super Rugby starting line up to play the Highlanders in Dunedin on Friday

Willemse missed last weekend’s match against the Crusaders but has recovered from injury and will start this weekend.


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There are five changes to the Stormers starting line-up and a further four on the replacements bench for the encounter at the Forsyth Barr Stadium.

The only change to the backline sees Dillyn Leyds move back to wing to make way for the returningWillemse, with Seabelo Senatla ruled out due to a groin strain and JJ Engelbrecht providing cover among the replacements.

Up front Kobus van Dyk will start at blindside flank in the absence of Cobus Wiese, who is nursing a shoulder injury.

There is an all-new lock pairing in Jan de Klerk and Chris van Zyl, with JD Schickerling having returned home injured and both Pieter-Steph du Toit and the 20-year-old Moerat set to provide impact off the replacements bench. Du Toit is recovering from concussion and has been bracketed with George Whitehead.

The only change to the front row sees Steven Kitshoff back in the starting XV, with JC Janse van Rensburg on the replacements bench.

Lock Salmaan Moerat is set to make his Stormers debut off the replacements bench

Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that his team will be going all-out to end their tour on a high.

“We have had some brave performances on this tour and the players are looking forward to the challenge in Dunedin against the Highlanders,” he said.

Stormers

15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 EW Viljoen, 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 Chris van Zyl, 4 Jan de Klerk, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse van Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Salmaan Moerat, 20 Pieter-Steph du Toit (George Whitehead), 21 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 22 Justin Phillips, 23 JJ Engelbrecht.