Consistency the key in Stormers selection




Stormers coach Kobus van der made just two changes, both injury related, to the starting XV that will face the Waratahs in a Super 14 Round Seven match in Sydney on Saturday.

In the pack tighthead prop Brok Harris makes his return after missing last week’s match against the Brumbies with an ankle injury, sustained in the win over the Hurricanes. Harris replaces Eddie Andrews, who returns to South Africa on Wednesday after suffering a broken nose in the 26-13 l9oss to the Brumbies last Saturday. Andrews will be replaced in the squad by Boland prop Tommy Dixon.

The other change in the run-on XV is at fullback, where Brent Russell returns in place of Gio Aplon. Russell was concussed in the match against the Hurricanes two weeks ago and has been given the all clear to play by the medical team. Aplon does not feature in the match-day 22.

There are also two changes amongst the reserves.

Robbie Diack is preferred to Francois van der Merwe as loose forward cover, whilst Dylan Des Fountain, who joined the squad last week, is included in place of Egon Seconds, whose recurring hamstring injury has brought his Australasian tour to an early conclusion. Seconds will also return home this week. Details on his replacement will be made known in due course.

Van der Merwe said he was confident that the side selected was capable of getting a result on Saturday.

“I am glad that we will be able to maintain consistency by making minimal changes,” Van der Merwe said from the team’s base in Sydney.

“Brok’s injury responded well to treatment and he has worked hard to maintain his match fitness. He will play an important role in the front row. We will be looking to continue building on our scrumming performance and his contribution will be valuable.

“With Brent fit again we have opted to give him another opportunity to play. His counter-attacking ability from the back is one of his strong points and we hope he can put it to good use at the weekend.”

Van der Merwe described the loss of Andrews and Seconds as unfortunate.

“That is part of the game,” he said. “We are disappointed about Egon as he had recovered well, but appears to have strained his troublesome hamstring again and we do not want to take any risks. Dylan will provide adequate cover and is a very versatile replacement,” van der Merwe said.

Stormers: 15 Brent Russell, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Jean de Villiers, 12 De Wet Barry, 11 Corne Uys, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Justin Melck, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Luke Watson (c), 5 Gerrie Britz, 4 Andries Bekker, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements: 16 Huia Edmonds, 17 Schalk Ferreira, 18 Ross Skeate, 19 Robbie Diack, 20 JP Joubert, 21 Naas Olivier, 22 Dylan Des Fountain

Date: Saturday, 17 March
Venue: Aussie Stadium, Sydney
Kick-off: 19.40 (08.40 GMT)
Referee: Lyndon Bray (New Zealand)
Touch judges: Keith Brown (New Zealand) Bradley Wahl (Australia)
Television match official: James Scholtens (Australia)
Assessor: Ian Scotney (Australia), Lusanda Menze (South Africa)


365 Digital 

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