There is an all-new halfback pairing of Jano Vermaak and Josh Stander, while Damian de Allende is back in midfield and Seabelo Senatla returns from injury to take his place out on the wing.
Meanwhile, Springbok prop Tendai Mtawarira, the most experienced South African Vodacom Super Rugby player ever, has shrugged off his injury and has been included in the starting team of the Cell C Sharks for their all-important visit to the Cape.
Mtawarira takes over in the front row from the promising Mzamo Majola, who moves to the bench, while Ruben van Heerden gets a start at lock because Ruan Botha is battling with a foot injury. Curwin Bosch has been ruled out with an ankle injury, which has left a gap for Aphelele Fassi to come into the starting line-up.
Going into the final round of regulation matches, the two teams are currently at the bottom end of the SA conference table – the Cape side fourth on 34 points, just one more than their Durban rivals who are bottom on 33 points. A win is important for both – success for the DHL Stormers will consolidate their place in the overall top eight, while their opponents need a convincing win to sneak into next weekend’s playoffs.
While the Cape side have struggled with their away form, they have proved to be a difficult customer when playing at DHL Newlands, where they have lost just once in eight games. Furthermore, the DHL Stormers are unbeaten in their last four home games (W3, D1), while the Cell C Sharks managed to snap a run of seven SA derby losses with their 42-5 triumph over the Emirates Lions.
What they said:
DHL Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck said that his players are looking forward to what should be a classic South African derby at DHL Newlands: “We have performed well at home this season and this is another opportunity for us to use that to our advantage. The key in a match like this will be to remain composed and accurate while operating at high intensity. It should be a great game to watch.”
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Josh Stander, 9 Jano Vermaak1, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 23 Dan Kriel.
Cell C S Sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Sbu Nkosi, 13 Lukhanyo Am, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Robert du Preez, 9 Louis Schreuder (captain), 8 Dan du Preez, 7 Tyler Paul, 6 Jacques Vermeulen, 5 Hyron Andrews, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Coenie Oosthuizen, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Tendai Mtawarira. Replacements: 16 Cullen Collopy, 17 Mzamo Majola, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Gideon Koegelenberg, 20 Luke Stringer, 21 Cameron Wright, 22 Jeremy Ward, 23 Rhyno Smith.
Head to head:
DHL Stormers won: 14
Cell C Sharks won: 16
DHL Stormers points: 598
Cell C Sharks points: 613
Average score: 20-20
Date: Saturday, 14 June 2019
SA time: 15h05
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: AJ Jacobs
Assistant Referees: Cwengile Jadezweni, Divan Uys
Television Match Official: Willie Vos