Vermeulen one of four Stormers changes for Bulls

The Stormers have named their Super Rugby team to play in a North-South Derby clash against the Bulls at Newlands with Springbok No.8 Duane Vermeulen returning to lead the team.

Vermeulen has missed the last two weeks of Super Rugby as part of the agreement for resting Springboks with SA Rugby but returns as one of four changes to the side that beat the Force in Perth.

Two of the four changes are injury enforced, with Johnny Kotze and Pat Howard (on debut) replacing the injured wing duo of Kobus van Wyk (knee – six weeks) and Dillyn Leyds (shoulder – one week), respectively.

Howard will make his Super Rugby debut, with Kotze set to win his sixth cap.

Nizaam Carr moves to the bench to make way for Vermeulen’s expected return to action, whilst the fourth and final change sees Nic Groom take over at scrumhalf from Louis Schreuder, who, like Carr, reverts to the bench.

Joining Carr and Schreuder amongst the replacements is prop Oli Kebble, with Ali Vermaak – along with Sikhumbuzo Notshe – doing duty for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team this weekend.

“It doesn’t get much bigger than a North-South Derby at Newlands, does it?" questioned Stormers coach Allister Coetzee.

“The Bulls are the SA Conference leaders, they have six Springboks in their pack and six in their backline with three more on the bench. It’s a powerful team and a team that has won six out of their last seven games – we’re expecting a Test-match like battle on Saturday.

“We know we weren’t at our best last weekend, but we have had to train smartly in this short week to make the necessary improvements and adjustments in our game against this strong Bulls team.”


15. Cheslin Kolbe , 14. Johnny Kotze , 13. Juan de Jongh (vice-captain) , 12. Damian de Allende , 11. Pat Howard (On Super Rugby debut for the Stormers) , 10. Demetri Catrakilis , 9. Nic Groom , 8. Duane Vermeulen (captain) , 7. Siya Kolisi , 6. Schalk Burger , 5. Ruan Botha , 4. Eben Etzebeth , 3. Frans Malherbe , 2. Bongi Mbonambi , 1. Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16. Scarra Ntubeni , 17. Oli Kebble , 18. Vincent Koch , 19. Jean Kleyn , 20. Nizaam Carr , 21. Louis Schreuder , 22. Kurt Coleman , 23. Huw Jones

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