Stormers have learnt their lesson and won't underestimate Sunwolves again
A year on and the Stormers are a lot wiser about playing against the Sunwolves in Singapore‚ but they will also travel without key Springbok players.
Last year in the corresponding Super Rugby fixture the Sunwolves produced their best result to date when they held the Stormers to a 17-17 draw in a match that the Cape side simply expected to win.
It was a huge shock for Robbie Fleck’s charges and there will be no repeat of the complacency that was on show in that match when the sides meet at the Singapore National Stadium on Saturday.
"We know how tough the Sunwolves can be on home turf‚ so it will be crucial that we maintain our focus for 80 minutes if we are to get the desired result‚" Fleck said.
Siya Kolisi is back to lead the team after missing their 41-10 win against the Southern Kings a little over a week ago due to squad rotation. Having come off a bye in round four‚ the Stormers will be aiming to make it four wins from four games this weekend.
Lock Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit and prop Frans Malherbe were not considered for selection due to the Springbok management plan.
Missing both their second rowers in particular will take a lot out of their engine room for this match.
But it also presents a chance for JD Schickerling to make his first start of the 2017 campaign. Scotland centre Huw Jones‚ flyhalf Jean-Luc du Plessis‚ scrumhalf Jano Vermaak‚ outside back Cheslin Kolbe‚ centres Juan de Jongh and Damian de Allende‚ flank Steph de Wit and wing Leolin Zas are all currently sidelined with injuries.
SA under-20 flank Cobus Wiese is included in the squad for the first time and could make his Super Rugby debut in Singapore while scrumhalf Godlen Masimla is included for the first time this year. Centre Dan Kriel is back from the injury that ruled him out of the Kings clash while former Cheetahs and Lions prop Caylib Oosthuizen could enjoy his first appearance in a Stormers jersey.
Fleck said that it will be vital for his team to capitalise on the momentum they have built early in the campaign in what will be a testing outing against the Sunwolves. "We have made an encouraging start to the campaign‚ but we cannot afford to drop intensity coming off our bye week.
Stormers touring squad:
Bjorn Basson‚ Kurt Coleman‚ Jan de Klerk‚ Dan du Plessis‚ Robert du Preez‚ Dewaldt Duvenage‚ Rynhardt Elstadt‚ JC Janse van Rensburg‚ Oli Kebble‚ Siya Kolisi (capt)‚ Dan Kriel‚ Dillyn Leyds‚ Wilco Louw‚ Godlen Masimla‚ Bongi Mbonambi‚ Sikhumbuzo Notshe‚ Caylib Oosthuizen‚ Ramone Samuels‚ JD Shickerling‚ Seabelo Senatla‚ Frans van Wyk‚ Chris van Zyl‚ EW Viljoen‚ Cobus Wiese‚ Damian Willemse.
- TMG Digital