Rassie Erasmus will start Andries Bekker and Ross Skeate in tandem as the Stormers look to combat the Force’s strength at the line-out.
The pair will resume their partnership for the first time this season. Both players are key line-out jumpers and are often described as similar players. This is why a player like Adriaan Fondse is often paired with a Bekker or a Skeate and described as the perfect foil, just as a Bakkies Botha complements a Victor Matfield.
Keo.co.za reports that Bekker is the only change to the side that went down 17-14 to the Blues last Saturday. The Force have Wallabies line-out maestro Nathan Sharpe who is in commanding form for the Perth franchise. Fondse wasn’t a bad line-out option, but having Skeate and Bekker operating from the start will boost the Stormers’ chances in this department considerably.
The Stormers loose trio are also not known for their line-out prowess. Both Luke Watson and Francois Louw are on the short side as far as premier jumpers go, while Schalk Burger is often better utilised as a strike runner off the set-piece.
Stormers – 15 Conrad Jantjes, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Gcobani Bobo, 12 Jean de Villiers (c), 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Ross Skeate, 3 Brian Mujati, 2 Schalk Brits, 1 JD Moller.
Subs: 16 Tiaan Liebenberg, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Adriaan Fondse, 19. Robbie Diack, 20 Conrad Hoffmann, 21 Gio Aplon, 22 Tony Brown.