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Thursday, December 8, 2022

Salmaan Moerat to captain Stormers in URC clash against Zebre

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Cape Town — Salmaan Moerat will captain the Stormers in their United Rugby Championship clash against Zebre Parma at the Stadio Lanfranchi on Saturday (kick-off 4pm).

There are a number of changes to the team for the first away match of the season, with new recruit Alapati Leuia set to make his debut for the defending champions at outside centre.

Moerat is joined in the second row by Adre Smith, with Andre Hugo Venter at hooker and Willie Engelbrecht coming into the loose trio.

In the backline, Springbok scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies makes his first start of the season, and midfield, Leiua partners up with Sacha Mngomezulu, with Damian Willemse moving to fullback.

Bok lock Marvin Orie is on the bench, with Nama Xaba also included among the replacements for his first game of the season. Scrumhalf Paul de Wet and centre Dan du Plessis will offer backline reinforcement after starting in the team’s first two games.

Stormers head coach John Dobson said that he is looking forward to seeing some of the new combinations in action.

“This is a team full of potential, just looking at some of the combinations we have out there,” Dobson said.

“It is fantastic to have someone of Salmaan’s stature to step in as captain and we are excited to see what the likes of Alapati, Sacha, Willie, Adre and Herschel can do as they all make their first starts of the campaign.

“We know it will be tough against a competitive Zebre side away from home, but preparations have gone well and we are looking forward to the challenge,” he added.

Stormers

15 Damian Willemse, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Alapati Leuia, 12 Sacha Mngomezulu, 11 Angelo Davids, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Willie Engelbrecht, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Adre Smith, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Ali Vermaak.

Bench: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Dan du Plessis.

@WynonaLouw

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