The Stormers’ big guns return for the coastal derby with the Sharks

Deon Fourie Stormers v Bulls URC Final 2022 – PA.jpg Credit: Alamy

The Sharks are back at Kings Park on Saturday when they host the Stormers in what should be another intense United Rugby Championship (URC) clash between two old rivals.

URC action returns to Round One, but only for this week as the original match, in September last year, was postponed due to a scheduling conflict.

The coastal derby, featuring the two South African teams, seems to offer all the drama we expect when these two teams meet.

South African derby

The Springbok’s rest protocols, for handling the country’s best players at this year’s Rugby World Cup, have required a number of changes in recent weeks, including Saturday’s game.

Sharks director of rugby Neil Powell has made two frontline changes, Ntuthuko Mchunu replacing Ox Nche and Carlü Sadie coming on for Thomas du Toit with the rest of the group who served the team so well last week remaining in its place.

Cameron Wright starts at scrum half for the injured Grant Williams, while Rohan Janse van Rensburg is back in the side, playing inside center with Ben Tapuai switching to outside center in place of Francois Venter.

In Stormers team news, experienced winger Deon Fourie will captain the team in Durban on Saturday, a lineup that has been boosted by the inclusion of several key players for the coastal clash.

At the back line, winger Seabelo Senatla returns from injury, while wing-back Clayton Blommetjies, inside center Dan du Plessis, fly-half Manie Libbok and scrum-half Herschel Jantjies join him in the starting line-up.

Forward hooker Joseph Dweba, prop Neethling Fouche and Fourie all return after resting last week, while lock Gary Porter returns from injury with teammate Ruben van Heerden at second row.

Marcel Theunissen will be at the back of the scrum, with Junior Pokomela back in the mix on the blind flank.

There is a potential Stormers debut for forward Keke Morabe, who joins two running backs in Paul de Wet and Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu on the replacement bench.

The teams

sharks: 15 Aphelele Fassi, 14 Marnus Potgieter, 13 Ben Tapuai, 12 Rohan Janse van Rensburg, 11 Thaakir Abrahams, 10 Curwin Bosch, 9 Cameron Wright, 8 Phepsi Buthelezi (c), 7 Henco Venter, 6 James Venter, 5 Gerbrandt Grobler, 4 Hyron Andrews, 3 Carlü Sadie, 2 Kerron van Vuuren, 1 Ntuthuko Mchunu
Replacements: 16 Dan Jooste, 17 Dian Bleuler, 18 Hanro Jacobs, 19 Reniel Hugo, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Bradley Davids, 22 Lionel Cronje, 23 Yaw Penxe

Storms: 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 (c), 5 Gary Porter, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Neethling Fouche, 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

Event: Hollywoodbets Kings Park
Kick off: 14:00 local time (12:00 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen (South Africa), Griffin Colby (South Africa)
BMT: Marius Jonker (South Africa)

READ MORE: United Rugby Championship: Crucial hour for defending champions Stormers

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