Siya Kolisi named for second game of the season for Stormers against Lions
A Springbok-laden Stormers starting team is a clear indication that coach John Dobson wants his team to hit the deck running upon the restart of the season against the Lions on Saturday.
He announced a starting team with several gold medalists from last year’s Rugby World Cup (RWC) lining up‚ while Bongi Mbonambi will bide his time on the bench in the Super Fan clash against the Lions at Loftus Versfeld.
The Stormers have four Bok forwards in their pack‚ two Test halfbacks as well as World Cup tourist and now Stormers debutant Warrick Gelant at fullback.
Captain Siya Kolisi will play only his second game of the season after he was injured in the Stormers’ opening match of Super Rugby against the Hurricanes‚ while hooker Mbonambi‚ another early-season casualty‚ will also see his first competitive action since February.
Speedster Leolin Zas is also back in the team following his stint with the Sharks. He starts from the bench as will wing Angelo Davids‚ flyhalf Tim Swiel‚ prop Leon Lyons‚ utility forward Hannes Gouws‚ centre Michal Hazner and fullback Tristan Leyds‚ who are all set to make their Stormers debut.
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The English-born Swiel is another former Western Province player whose career path has taken him to the Sharks‚ Harlequins and Newcastle Falcons.
The last time the teams met the Stormers won through a last-gasp try in the 83rd-minute at Ellis Park. The clash at Loftus promises to be another free-flowing affair.
Stormers team: Warrick Gelant; Leolin Zas‚ Dan du Plessis‚ Rikus Pretorius‚ Seabelo Senatla; Damian Willemse‚ Herschel Jantjies; Juarno Augustus‚ Ernst van Rhyn‚ Siya Kolisi (captain); JD Schickerling‚ Salmaan Moerat; Frans Malherbe‚ Scarra Ntubeni‚ Steven Kitshoff.
Substitutes: Bongi Mbonambi‚ Leon Lyons‚ Neethling Fouche‚ Chris van Zyl‚ Nama Xaba‚ Hannes Gouws‚ Paul de Wet‚ Tim Swiel‚ Michal Hazner‚ Angelo Davids‚ Tristan Leyds.