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Stormers, Munster name their URC grand final teams

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

John Dobson has made two changes to his DHL Stormers team for Saturday’s URC final versus Munster in Cape Town, recalling two Springboks forwards to his pack.

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The defending champions qualified for the decider with a 43-25 win over another Irish side, Connacht, on May 13 and they have now bolstered their firepower by naming lock Marvin Orie and blindside Deon Fourie to start in place of the benched Ben-Jason Dixon and Willie Engelbrecht.

They have also recalibrated their bench from the semi-finals. For that match, they opted for a five-forwards/three-backs split.

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WATCH as Munster defence coach Denis Leamy talks about his team’s famous URC win over the Stormers last month

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WATCH as Munster defence coach Denis Leamy talks about his team’s famous URC win over the Stormers last month

However, their replacements for the final will see a six/two divide as they have decided to go with an extra back-rower option and exclude Jean-Luc du Plessis. Utility back Clayton Blommetjies is included on the bench in place of the injured Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Munster, who come into the final that will take place in front of a sold-out 55,000 crowd, have made three changes from their last-gasp 16-15 semi-final win away to Leinster. With skipper Peter O’Mahony fit despite his early Aviva Stadium departure, Graham Rowntree has named an unchanged pack.

There is a reshuffle at half-back, though, with the fit-again Conor Murray named at scrum-half with Craig Casey dropping to the bench. Ben Healy, the starting No10 versus Leinster, is also named as a sub with Jack Crowley, who landed the winning drop goal, switching in from inside centre, a position that will now be filled by Malakai Fekitoa.

The other starting XV change sees Keith Earls slip to the bench with Calvin Nash chosen on the right wing. Earls will be joined in reserve by the fit-again Springboks lock, RG Snyman.

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Stormers boss Dobson said. “Both Deon and Marvin have been outstanding for us this season and they will add a lot both in terms of their ability and leadership on Saturday. We have a lot of respect for Munster. The truth is that we have never beaten them, so while we are thrilled to be playing at home we know it will be a big challenge against a good team.

“This will be the biggest crowd for any DHL Stormers match and it should be an amazing occasion for the team, our passionate supporters and the city of Cape Town. We are so grateful for the support that we enjoy and what this team means to so many people. We will do our best to soak up the atmosphere, enjoy every moment and play the kind of rugby that got us here.”

DHL STORMERS: 15. Damian Willemse; 14. Angelo Davids, 13. Ruhan Nel, 12. Dan du Plessis, 11. Leolin Zas; 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Herschel Jantjies; 1. Steven Kitshoff (capt), 2. Joseph Dweba, 3. Frans Malherbe, 4. Ruben van Heerden, 5. Marvin Orie, 6. Deon Fourie, 7. Hacjivah Dayimani, 8. Evan Roos. Reps: 16. JJ Kotze, 17. Ali Vermaak, 18. Neethling Fouche, 19. Ben-Jason Dixon, 20. Willie Engelbrecht, 21. Marcel Theunissen, 22. Paul de Wet, 23. Clayton Blommetjies.

MUNSTER: 15. Mike Haley; 14. Calvin Nash, 13. Antoine Frisch, 12. Malakai Fekitoa, 11. Shane Daly; 10. Jack Crowley, 9. Conor Murray; 1. Jeremy Loughman, 2. Diarmuid Barron, 3. Stephen Archer, 4. Jean Kleyn, 5. Tadhg Beirne, 6. Peter O’Mahony (capt), 7. John Hodnett, 8. Gavin Coombes. Reps: 16. Niall Scannell, 17. Josh Wycherley, 18. Roman Salanoa, 19. RG Snyman, 20. Alex Kendellen, 21. Craig Casey, 22. Ben Healy, 23. Keith Earls.

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