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Saturday, April 1, 2023

Deon Fourie named captain for Stormers’ URC clash against Sharks

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Cape Town — Springbok-flank Deon Fourie will captain the Stormers on Saturday (kick-off 14:00) in their coastal derby in the United Rugby Championship against the Sharks at Kings Park.

John Dobson, Stormers coach, opted to recall several key players who were rested in last weekend’s tour match against Ulster.

Outside centre Ruhan Nel and winger Suleiman Hartzenberg are the only survivors in the new-look (and strengthened) backline as Nel is joined by regular partner Dan du Plessis at the inside centre.

Springbok Manie Libbok will slot in at flyhalf which will definitely inject a bit of speed and unpredictability into their backline, something that was amiss against Ulster. Exciting youngster Hartzenberg and fit-again flyer Seabelo Senatla will form a potent back-three with the returning fullback Clayton Blommetjies.

Judging by the 6-2 bench split Dobson has opted for, one can expect that he wants his forwards to dominate up front, which will in turn create that opportunity for Libbok and company to run rampant when space is created.

The Nel and Du Plessis combination will also have to be switched on from the get-go with the Sharks backline full of exciting runners. The two have been quite successful in closing down space on defence when they play together and will be required to do so again when the likes of Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphelele Fassi and Thaakier Abrahams run at them.

Upfront, the Cape side should produce a better showing with Fourie and the front row of Bok-hooker Joseph Dweba and props Brok Harris and Neethling Fouche back and reunited at the spear of the scrum.

Dobson said that the returning players are all keen to make their mark in the coastal clash.

“The players we rested last week have all played a prominent role in our preparations this week, which is very encouraging.

“Any South African derby away from home is a tough assignment, so we will have to be as sharp as ever,” Dobson added.


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 (captain); 5 Gary Porter; 4 Ruben van Heerden; 3 Neethling Fouch; 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.


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