Stormers ring in team changes for Rebels meet

Stormers flyhalf Elton Jantjies. (Gallo)

Stormers flyhalf Elton Jantjies. (Gallo)

"Despite all the changes, some of them injury-enforced, this is an exciting team and we're determined to finish the tour on a high," Stormers coach Allister Coetzee said after naming his team on Wednesday.

"We've trained well this week and we're looking forward to Friday's match."

Two of the changes are injury-enforced, with Rynhardt Elstadt and Duane Vermeulen out with knee injuries, which has also led to some positional switches up front.

Regular hooker Deon Fourie will move from the front row to the back row, with Siya Kolisi shifting to the other side of the scrum and the exciting Nizaam Carr packing down at eighth-man.

With Fourie on the flank, Currie Cup-winning hooker Scarra Ntubeni will make his first-ever Super Rugby start at hooker, and in a final change to the front row, Pat Cilliers will start at tighthead prop as part of the squad's rotation policy, with Frans Malherbe dropping to the bench.

There is also a change at halfback, with Elton Jantjies and Louis Schreuder starting a game together for the first time at flyhalf and scrumhalf respectively.

Flyhalf Gary van Aswegen, who has started the past four games, drops to the bench where he is joined by Nic Groom, who will be looking to make his first appearance of the tour. Scrumhalf Dewaldt Duvenage will sit out altogether.

Stormers team
Groom, in turn, will be joined on the bench by lock Gerbrandt Grobler, who flew to Australia this week as injury cover, and hooker Martin Bezuidenhout.

Stormers team: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Juan de Jongh, Jean de Villiers (captain), Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Louis Schreuder, Nizaam Carr, Siya Kolisi, Deon Fourie, Andries Bekker, Eben Etzebeth, Pat Cilliers, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Frans Malherbe, Gerbrandt Grobler, Don Armand, Nic Groom, Gary van Aswegen, Gerhard van den Heever.
– Sapa