Vodacom Stormers coach Rassie Erasmus announced his side for Saturday’s Vodacom Super 14 first-round match against the Sharks at Newlands on Wednesday.
The Stormers Website reports that the coach selected promising young utility player Nick Koster at left wing in place of the injured Sireli Naqelevuki.
Springbok fullback Conrad Jantjes is back after missing both the warm-up games due to a groin injury. He takes over from Percy Montgomery, who is on the substitutes’ bench.
Schalk Burger also is in the starting XV after having missed out on the warm-up games against Saracens and Boland with an ankle problem.
Former Cheetahs loose-forward Duane Vermeulen will be making his Super 14 debut for his new side at No 8. His inclusion means that Springbok Luke Watson reverts to the substituets’ bench.
Saturday’s match will be a special one for Burger and Watson, who will be donning the Stormers jersey for the 50th time.
Captain Jean de Villiers commented: “We all play rugby to do well and to achieve milestones, so this is a fantastic milestone for the two of them. It is a great achievement for those two who have played at the highest level to play their 50th game for the Stormers.
“To have that type of experience in the side just makes it easier for me as captain and I wish them well on the rest of their careers.”
15: Conrad Jantjes, 14. Tonderai Chavhanga, 13. Gcobani Bobo, 12. Jean de Villiers (capt), 11, Nick Koster, 10. Peter Grant, 9. Ricky Januarie, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Francois Louw, 6. Schalk Burger, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Adriaan Fondse, 3. Brian Mujati, 2. Schalk Brits, 1. JD Moller.
Reserves: 16. Deon Fourie, 17. Wicus Blaauw, 18. AJ Venter, 19. Bolla Conradie, 20. Joe Pietersen, 21. Percy Montgomery.