Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff will captain the Stormers in their Super Rugby Unlocked match against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.
Kitshoff is back for the mammoth North vs South clash, which kicks off at 19:00 on Saturday in Pretoria.
Kitshoff to captain
The Loosehead prop missed out last week due to COVID-19 protocols but returns to take the captaincy reins from Siya Kolisi, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury.
Kolisi’s place on the side of the scrum will be assumed by Jaco Coetzee, while JD Schickerling starts at lock in the only other change to the forward pack.
Western Province U21 stars Marcel Theunissen (flank) and Angelo Davids (wing) are joined by Ben-Jason Dixon (flank) and Tristan Leyds (outside back) in a quartet of uncapped players on an extended list of replacements to travel up to Pretoria.
Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his side are looking forward to testing themselves in what should be another North-South classic.
“This match is one of the highlights on the South African rugby calendar, so we are looking forward to taking on that challenge this weekend.
“This is a great chance for the team to show our faithful supporters what it means to us to play for them, we know that we will have to be on our game to come away with the result on Saturday,” he said.
The partnership between Rikus Pretorius and Dan du Plessis has proven a great one for the Stormers so far this season and the pair get another outing together at Loftus.
Warrick Gelant returns to Loftus for the first match against his former team the Bulls since he left the Pretoria franchise earlier this year.
The lock pairing of Salmaan Moerat and Shickerling has the potential to blossom into one of the great second-row partnerships of South African rugby, but they have a big test on their hands against a Bulls team that does so well at lineout time.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Replacements (from): 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 David Meihuizen, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Ben-Jason Dixon, 23 Godlen Masimla, 24 Tim Swiel, 25 Angelo Davids, 26 Tristan Leyds.