There are four changes to the Stormers starting line-up to take on the Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday while the Lions had made just a single change to their starting side.
Scrumhalf Godlen Masimla, loose forward Juarno Augustus and prop Wilco Louw will all make their first starts of the season for the Stormers in the round three all-South African derby.
Masimla and Augustus come in for the injured Herschel Jantjies and Jaco Coetzee respectively, with Johan du Toit shifting to flank from the back of the scrum.
Jantjies who’s been one of of the form halfback in the competition’s two weeks to date, will be a major loss for the undefeated Stormers.
Stormers centurion Frans Malherbe is among the replacements, which include a fit-again John Schickerling and scrumhalf Paul de Wet – who is set to make his first appearance of the season.
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The Lions have largely stuck with the side that narrowly bested the Reds last weekend with the sole change coming in the midfield.
Manuel Rass, who debuted in week one, comes in at outside centre in the place of Duncan Matthews.
Curiously, veteran Springbok Willem Alberts has been named on the bench – despite a media release from the Lions earlier in the week stating that he was unavailable due to not recovering from a bicep injury.
Fallen by the wayside before the storm has even hit https://t.co/5eA9ZWHe0B
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 13, 2020
“Willem had some scar tissue that was hurting from last week,” coach van Rooyen said after naming the squad. “He came through the Tuesday session well, so it was nice for us to select him.”
Springbok scrumhalf Ross Cronje, who is available after recovering from his ankle injury, has not been called up to the Super Rugby team.
Cronje will captain a Lions XV that will host a Bulls XV in a curtain-raiser.
Meanwhile, prop Dylan Smith will run out in his 50th Super Rugby game.
The burly prop made his Super Rugby debut in 2016 and have scored two tries.
“This milestone represents a lot of hard work for me,” Smith said.
“I have come through a few injuries and setbacks over the years and I am just grateful to have got to 50 caps for the Lions,” he added.
The Stormers lead the South African conference and the competition as a whole with nine points from two games. The Lions, meanwhile, sit 9th overall and 4th in the conference.
Lions: Andries Coetzee, Tyrone Green, Manuel Rass, Dan Kriel, Courtnall Skosan, Elton Jantjies (c), Morné van den Berg, Len Massyn, Vincent Tshituka, Marnus Schoeman, Marvin Orie, Ruben Schoeman, Jannie du Plessis, Pieter Jansen, Dylan Smith. Reserves: Jan-Henning Campher, Sithembiso Sithole, Carlu Sadie, Wilhelm van der Sluys, Willem Alberts, Hacjivah Dayimani, Dillon Smit, Wandisile Simelane.
Stormers: Dillyn Leyds, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel, Jamie Roberts, Seabelo Senatla, Damian Willemse, Godlen Masimla, Juarno Augustus, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Johan du Toit, Chris van Zyl, Salmaan Moerat, Wilco Louw, Siyabonga Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff (c). Reserves: Chad Solomon, Ali Vermaak, Frans Malherbe, John Schickerling, Cobus Wiese, Ernst van Rhyn, Paul de Wet, Jean-Luc du Plessis.
– with Rugby365
Lions captain Elton Jantjies will be looking for a big performance in Saturday’s derby:
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