Siya Kolisi leads Bok laden Stormers in Super Rugby opener against the Canes
Siya Kolisi will pack down at No8 when the Stormers start their Super Rugby campaign against the Hurricanes at Newlands on Saturday.
The Rugby World Cup (RWC) winning captain‚ who is more at home in the No 6 jersey‚ features in a Springbok laden forward unit.
Five RWC winners start in the Stormers pack while the backline features Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse who also did duty in Japan.
As expected‚ the backline also includes Wales and British and Irish Lions international Jamie Roberts and his battle with Ngani Laumapi is expected to be a keen feature of the contest.
It is in the pack‚ however‚ where the Stormers will want to draw on the Springboks’ success in Japan.
Much of the Boks’ success was built on the toil of the forwards and with Kolisi‚ Steven Kitshoff‚ Bongi Mbonambi‚ Frans Malherbe and world player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit in their starting line-up‚ the home crowd will hope the free running Hurricanes will be suffocated out of the contest.
Coach John Dobson‚ however‚ is also keen to play a brand of rugby that will attract big crowds to Stormers matches in their last season at Newlands.
“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 Newlands.
“We want to play the kind of rugby that will make our supporters smile and that starts on Saturday against the Hurricanes‚” he said.
The Hurricanes last visited Newlands in 2014‚ when a late try secured a dramatic one-point win for the hosts.
The Hurricanes haven’t won at Newlands since 2006.
The last time the two teams played the opening game of the season was at Newlands in 2012‚ when Kolisi made a try-scoring debut off the substitutes bench.
The Hurricanes have included several debutants in their team set to be captained by TJ Perenara.
Teams Stormers - Dillyn Leyds; Sergeal Petersen‚ Ruhan Nel‚ Jamie Roberts‚ Seabelo Senatla; Damian Willemse‚ Herschel Jantjies; Siya Kolisi (captain)‚ Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ Jaco Coetzee; Chris van Zyl‚ Salmaan Moerat; Frans Malherbe‚ Bongi Mbonambi‚ Steven Kitshoff.
Substitutes: Scarra Ntubeni‚ Ali Vermaak‚ Wilco Louw‚ David Meihuizen‚ Ernst van Rhyn‚ Johan du Toit‚ Godlen Masimla‚ Rikus Pretorius.
Hurricanes - Jordie Barrett; Wes Goosen‚ Billy Proctor‚ Ngani Laumape‚ Ben Lam; Fletcher Smith‚ TJ Perenara (captain); Gareth Evans‚ Du’Plessis Kirifi‚ Reed Prinsep; Scott Scrafton‚ James Blackwell; Tyrel Lomax‚ Ricky Riccitelli‚ Fraser Armstrong. Substitutes: Asafo Auma‚ Pouri Rakete-Stones‚ Tevita Mafileo‚ Vaea Fifita‚ Devan Flanders‚ Jamie Booth‚ Jackson Garden-Bachop‚ Vince Aso.