Stormtroopers cannons return for coastal derby with Sharks

Deon Fourie Stormers v Bulls URC final 2022 - PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

Deon Fourie Stormers v Bulls URC final 2022 – PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

The Sharks are back at King’s Park on Saturday when they host the Stormers in what should be another tough United Rugby Championship (URC) clash between two old rivals.

URC action returns to Round One – but this week only – as the original game, back in September last year, was postponed due to a scheduling conflict.

The coastal derby, featuring both teams in South Africa, looks to offer every bit of drama we expect when these two teams meet.

The South African Derby

Springbok rest protocols – to manage the country’s best players in this year’s Rugby World Cup – have required a number of changes over the past few weeks, including Saturday’s game.

Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell has made two changes to the front row, with Ntuthuko Mchunu replacing Ox Nche and Carlü Sadie replacing Thomas du Toit and the rest of the pack having also served the team well last week left in place.

Cameron Wright starts at fly-half for the injured Grant Williams and Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back in the side, playing inside center while Ben Tapuai moves to outside center in place of Francois Venter.

In Stormers team news, experienced leader Deon Fourie will captain the team in Durban on Saturday, a final that has been promoted by the inclusion of a number of key players for the coastal competition.

In the backline, winger Seabelo Senatla will be out from injury again, and fullback Clayton Blommetjies, inside center Dan du Plessis, flyhalf Manie Libbok and inwr Herschel Jantjies join him in the starting line-up.

Forward hook Joseph Dweba, prop Neethling Fouche and Fourie return after rest last week, while lock Gary Porter returns from injury to partner Ruben van Heerden in the second row.

Marcel Theunissen will be at the back of the scrum, with Junior Pokomela back in the mix at blindside.

Stormers are likely to start loose forward Keke Morabe, who will be joined by two backs on the substitutes’ bench in Paul de Wet and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Of the team

Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (c), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Carlü Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe

Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Marcel Theunissen, 7 Junior Pokomela, 6 Deon Fourie (c), 45 Gary Port van Heerden, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Brok Harris
Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ben-Jason Dixon, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Keke Morabe, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu

Centre: King’s Park Hollywoodbets
Start: 14:00 local (12:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant Referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
TMO: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Crunch time for defending champions the Stormers

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