Pieter-Steph du Toit back in time for Stormers’ Rainbow opener
The formidable force that is Pieter-Steph du Toit is back from injury.
He will make his long-awaited return from injury for the Stormers in the PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA opener against the Sharks at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
The 2019 World Rugby player of the year who was originally sidelined with a leg injury at the end of February last year has been selected on the side of the scrum in a star-studded Stormers who will hope to make a winning start in a new competition at their new home.
With Steven Kitshoff at the helm the Stormers will send seven Springboks into battle in their starting team‚ with one more waiting in the wings on the bench.
The hosts will again push a powerful pack into battle. Du Toit‚ rookie No.8 Willie Engelbrecht and openside flank Nama Xaba form the loose trio‚ while Marvin Orie is partnered by JD Schickerling at lock. The experienced trio of Kitshoff‚ Scarra Ntubeni and Frans Malherbe start in the front row.
The back division has a familiar look. The men who did duty in the preparation series are largely back with Herschel Jantjies and Kade Wolhuter the starting halfbacks‚ Rikus Pertorius and Ruhan Nel in midfield‚ while Damian Willemse‚ Seabelo Senatla and Edwill van der Merwe form the back three.
Head coach John Dobson is mindful his team needs to set the standard at home at the start of a new competition.
“This will be our first competitive match at our new home Cape Town Stadium and we want to ensure that we get some early momentum in this competition‚” he said.
“The PRO14 Rainbow Cup SA is something we have all been looking forward to and our focus is on delivering a cohesive team performance that makes the most of the considerable talent we have running out for us on Saturday‚” he said.
Stormers team - Damian Willemse; Edwill van der Merwe‚ Ruhan Nel‚ Rikus Pretorius‚ Seabelo Senatla; Kade Wolhuter‚ Herschel Jantjies; Willie Engelbrecht‚ Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ Nama Xaba; Marvin Orie‚ JD Schickerling; Frans Malherbe‚ Scarra Ntubeni‚ Steven Kitshoff (captain).
Substitutes: Bongi Mbonambi‚ Ali Vermaak‚ Neethling Fouche‚ Ernst van Rhyn‚ Evan Roos‚ Paul de Wet‚ Abner van Reenen‚ Dan du Plessis‚ David Meihuizen‚ Marcel Theunissen‚ Leolin Zas.