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Etzebeth makes return to Stormers

Eben Etzebeth

The Stormers team to face the Waratahs has been announced, which sees the Springbok lock making his long-awaited return.

Eben Etzebeth has been named in the starting XV for the Stormers match against the Waratahs in Sydney on Saturday, 11 May 2013, marking the first start for the towering forward in the 2013 Super Rugby season.

Etzebeth has been nursing an ankle injury and will come in for De Kock Steenkamp, who encountered an injury of his own (sternum), and has returned to South Africa.

Another change sees young flyer Gerhard van den Heever come onto the bench in place of Damien de Allende.

“We feel continuity is important and after we’ve looked at the video we realise that where we went wrong was that we created enough opportunities but just couldn’t round off,” said Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. “This is an important game for us and it would would be risky to make too many changes for it, the idea is just to improve on last week.”

“Eben Etzebeth comes in for an injured player, so the only real change is the return of Gerhard van den Heever, who we feel will bring the necessary experience for this game, particularly experience as a specialist wing.”

“He brings balance to our back three options for this game. The Waratahs are a team that will probably kick behind us, as all the other teams have done, and Damian, who has played mostly centre, doesn’t have the experience that Gerhard has in dropping back to deal with the kicks.”

Stormers team to play Waratahs:

15. Joe Pietersen, 14. Gio Aplon,13. Juan de Jongh, 12. Jean de Villiers (captain), 11. Bryan Habana, 10. Gary van Aswegen, 9. Dewaldt Duvenage, 8. Duane Vermeulen, 7. Rynhardt Elstadt, 6. Siya Kolisi, 5. Andries Bekker, 4. Eben Etzebeth, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Deon Fourie, 1. Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16. Scarra Ntubeni, 17. Pat Cilliers, 18. Don Armand, 19. Nizaam Carr, 20. Louis Schreuder, 21. Elton Jantjies, 22. Gerhard van den Heever.

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