Can the Stormers bounce back against the Reds?

Stormers v Reds

The Reds will be hosted in Cape Town by the Stormers, but the home side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to the Rebels in Melbourne.

The Reds will be hosted in Cape Town by the Stormers, but the home side will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing defeat to the Rebels in Melbourne.

Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will become the most-experienced skipper in the history of DHL Stormers rugby when he leads out the side for the 53rd time at DHL Newlands in Cape Town on Saturday, against the Reds.

Only nine players – two of them South African – have more Vodacom Super Rugby captaincy experience than De Villiers.

The two South Africans ahead of De Villiers on the list are Victor Matfield, who captained the Vodacom Bulls 75 times and is second on the overall list, and John Smit, who lead The Sharks out on 67 occasions (joint-fourth overall). Both also captained the Springboks.

De Villiers is currently level on 52 matches as DHL Stormers captain with another former Springbok captain, Corné Krige.

Because of an injury to his Springbok midfield-partner Juan de Jongh, De Villiers has been moved to outside centre for this match, with Damian De Allende coming in at inside centre.

“We’ve been hit really hard by injuries, but we’re looking forward to (new) players bringing in new energy this weekend,” said DHL Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee.

“As a coach you make do with what you have and remain positive about the (next) fixture, but the reality is that we’re currently sitting with 15 players that are unavailable. Having said that, I’m excited about the new players in our team – all of whom have a chance to lay down a marker and all of whom brought plenty of energy and enthusiasm to training this week.”

Speaking about facing the Reds, the 2011 Vodacom Super Rugby champions, Coetzee said: “The Reds are a challenging team. They beat us at DHL Newlands two years ago and I expect the same (from them) from a tactical point of view.

“They’re probably disappointed at losing (to the Cheetahs) last week and they’ll probably be chasing a four-try bonus point. We’re confident in our defence, however, and hopefully we can make our opportunities on attack count.”

The teams are:

DHL Stormers: Joe Pietersen, Gio Aplon, Jean de Villiers (captain), Damian De Allende, Bryan Habana, Elton Jantjies, Louis Schreuder, Nizaam Carr, Don Armand, Siya Kolisi, Eben Etzebeth, Gerbrandt Grobler, Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: Martin Bezuidenhout, Chris Heiberg, Marius Coetzer, Rohan Kitshoff, Dewaldt Duvenage, Gary van Aswegen, Gerhard van den Heever.

Reds: Luke Morahan, Rod Davies, Anthony Faingaa, Ben Tapuai, Chris Feauai-Sautia, Quade Cooper, Will Genia, Jake Schatz, Liam Gill, Eddie Quirk, James Horwill (captain), Rob Simmons, James Slipper, Saia Faingaa, Greg Holmes. Replacements: James Hanson, Ben Daley, Ed O’Donoghue, Jarrad Butler, Beau Robinson, Ben Lucas, Jono Lance.

DHL Stormers v Reds
Date: Saturday, 25 May
SA Time: 17h05
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Quinton Immelman (South Africa), Marc van Zyl (South Africa)
Television match official: Shaun Veldsman (South Africa)

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