The Stormers have been forced into a change at fullback for Saturday’s Kings Park showdown with the Sharks; Joe Pietersen has failed to recover from a back injury picked up against the Waratahs and will play no part in the game.
Gio Aplon shifts from right wing into the last line of defence as a result, with former Bull Shadow van den Heever coming into the number 14 jersey. Despite all the talk during the week of mass injury disruptions to the side, though, this single change is the only one that Coetzee has made to his starting fifteen.
On the bench, there’s an interesting – and perhaps pre-emptive – selection of both Nick Fenton-Wells and Don Armand as loose forward replacements. Knowing that the Sharks will in all likelihood again go with a 5-2 split, Alister Coetzee has opted to do the same, but with only Vodacom Cup grade forwards available to him, one has to acknowledge that the Sharks’ pair of Boks (Jean Deysel and Ryan Kankowski) should still give them the edge on the bench.
Stormers: 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Gerhard van den Heever, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Jebb Sinclair, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Deon Fourie, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Don Armand, 20 Nick Fenton-Wells, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Burton Francis.