Super Rugby

Kitshoff to lead Stormers against Lions

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Stormers Super rugby head coach Robbie Fleck has named Steven Kitshoff as captain of his team to play the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The experienced prop takes over the captaincy from regular skipper Siya Kolisi who will miss the clash.

Kolisi (knee), Pieter-Steph du Toit (shoulder) and Kobus van Dyk (knee) have all been ruled out due to injuries, which have resulted in a number of changes to the Stormers forward pack.

In the loose trio Sikhumbuzo Notshe will start at No.8, with Jaco Coetzee shifting to openside flank and Johan du Toit on the other side of the scrum.

Eben Etzebeth returns after being sidelined through illness last week and takes his place in the second row alongside Cobus Wiese.

The only change to the front row is a rotation at tighthead prop, with Wilco Louw in the starting line-up and Frans Malherbe set to make an impact in the second half.

The only changes to the replacements bench see the return of fit-again utility forward Ernst van Rhyn and a potential Stormers debut for loose forward Marno Redelinghuys.

The backline remains unchanged from the combination that featured in the 34-22 win against the Highlanders at Newlands last week.

Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said that the focus this week has been on ensuring the players are in the right space physically and mentally for the challenge.

“We want to keep building on our performances every week and this is another great opportunity for us to show what we are capable of.

“The focus has been to assemble a playing group that is primed and ready both physically and mentally for what we will face on Saturday. There is no doubting the motivation within the group,” he said.

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee), 5 Cobus Wiese, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marno Redelinghuys (Stormers debut), 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel.

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