Springbok Rugby World Cup winning captain Siya Kolisi will lead the DHL Stormers in the No 8 jersey when they host the Hurricanes in their first Vodacom Super Rugby match of 2020 on Saturday.
Wales and British & Irish Lions international Jamie Roberts will make his DHL Stormers debut alongside 10 Springboks named in the matchday squad for the opening round clash with the Kiwis. Roberts will start at inside centre.
There are seven RWC winners in the starting XV, with skipper Kolisi at No 8 when he leads the team out on Saturday, to start the last Vodacom Super Rugby season at DHL Newlands. The Canes last visited DHL Newlands in 2014, when a late try secured a dramatic one-point win for the DHL Stormers.
The Capetonians have several RWC stars in their pack, including flanker Kolisi, World Rugby and SA Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit (flank), Steven Kitshoff (prop) and Bongi Mbonambi (hooker), while Herschel Jantjies is picked at scrumhalf and Damian Willemse at flyhalf.
Interestingly, eight of the last nine games between the two sides have been won by the home team on the day and the last time the Hurricanes won in Cape Town was in March 2006.
The last time the two teams played the opening game of the season was at DHL Newlands in 2012, when Kolisi made a try-scoring debut off the replacements' bench.
What they said:
DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson said that following a busy pre-season, his team are determined to make a convincing start in front of the DHL Newlands faithful: “We are very excited about the team that we are putting out this weekend and the potential for us to make a good start to the last season at DHL Newlands. We want to play the kind of rugby that will make our supporters smile and that starts on Saturday against the Hurricanes.”
Hurricanes head coach Jason Holland said pre-season was useful: “We worked hard through our pre-season matches at improving parts of our game and performance. Nobody shows too much in pre-season games, so we are looking forward to trying a few things.”
DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Siya Kolisi (captain), 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Jaco Coetzee, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Johan du Toit, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Rikus Pretorius.
Hurricanes: 15 Jordie Barrett, 14 Wes Goosen, 13 Billy Proctor, 12 Ngani Laumape, 11 Ben Lam, 10 Fletcher Smith, 9 TJ Perenara (captain), 8 Gareth Evans, 7 Du’Plessis Kirifi, 6 Reed Prinsep, 5 Scott Scrafton, 4 James Blackwell, 3 Tyrel Lomax, 2 Ricky Riccitelli, 1 Fraser Armstrong. Replacements: 16 Asafo Auma, 17 Pouri Rakete-Stones, 18 Tevita Mafileo, 19 Vaea Fifita, 20 Devan Flanders, 21 Jamie Booth, 22 Jackson Garden-Bachop, 23 Vince Aso.