Stormers make fourteen changes for Sharks

The Stormers have named a side with 14 changes from last week for their final regular season Super Rugby match against the Sharks in Durban.

Nizaam Carr will captain the side at No.8 against the Sharks and is the only surviving starting player from his team’s 19-19 draw against the Lions at Newlands.

There are three Stormers debutants in the matchday 23, with Robert du Preez starting at No.15 in his first taste of Super Rugby action and flanker Sikhumbuzo Notshe and hooker Michael Willemse making their first starts at this level.

Lock Jan de Klerk and scrumhalf Godlen Masimla will be looking to earn their first caps from the bench, whilst vice-captain Jaco Taute (inside centre – in his 50th overall Super Rugby appearance), Michael Rhodes (No.7) and Kobus van Wyk (on the bench) are back in the mix following their injury lay-offs.

“We have a great opportunity here to give game time to some fringe players and to continue to increase the capacity within our squad,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee

“Players like Steven Kitshoff, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Manny Carizza, Schalk Burger, Duane Vermeulen, Nic Groom, Demetri Catrakilis, Damian de Allende, Juan de Jongh, Dillyn Leyds and Cheslin Kolbe have played a lot of rugby and deserve a break.

“However, the likes of Oli Kebble, Vincent Koch, Ruan Botha, Michael Rhodes, Louis Schreuder, Kurt Coleman, Jaco Taute, Johnny Kotze – to name just a few – are by no means second-string players and they all have a massive opportunity to play for starting positions”

“We’re in a fortunate position to be able to select a talented group of players who have everything to play for against a Sharks team that will be fired up and looking to finish their season on a high.

“The Sharks are also saying goodbye to three big players, loyal servants, so we’re expecting a brutal clash and (we) know we need to be up for this match – physically and mentally.”

Stormers

15. Robert du Preez (On Super Rugby debut for the Stormers) , 14. Johnny Kotze , 13. Huw Jones , 12. Jaco Taute (vice-captain) , 11. Pat Howard , 10. Kurt Coleman , 9. Louis Schreuder , 8. Nizaam Carr (captain) , 7. Michael Rhodes , 6. Sikhumbuzo Notshe (Super Rugby starting debut for the Stormers) , 5. Ruan Botha , 4. Jean Kleyn , 3. Vincent Koch , 2. Michael Willemse (Super Rugby starting debut for the Stormers) , 1. Oli Kebble

Replacements: 16. Neil Rautenbach , 17. Ali Vermaak , 18. Wilco Louw , 19. Jan de Klerk (On Super Rugby debut for the Stormers) , 20. Siya Kolisi , 21. Godlen Masimla (On Super Rugby debut for the Stormers) , 22. Seabelo Senatla , 23. Kobus van Wyk

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