Cape Town – Stormers coach Robbie Fleck is expecting an aerial bombardment from the Waratahs in their Super Rugby match in Sydney on Saturday (kick-off 10:45 SA time).
As such, Fleck has made a few changes to his backline arsenal from the side that beat the Jaguares 28-20 at Newlands last week.
The Stormers appeared vulnerable under the high ball against the Argentine side which prompted Fleck to make changes.
A fit-again SP Marais starts at fullback, with Dillyn Leyds shifted to the wing and JJ Engelbrecht starting at outside centre in place of EW Viljoen.
Viljoen is set to provide impact off the bench, with Seabelo Senatla dropping out of the match-day squad.
A Stormers press release said Senatla was rested due to a heavy pre-season workload.
“SP is a logical choice at fullback and gives us another dimension at the back with his left boot. We’re expecting an aerial attack in the wide channels from guys like Kurtley Beale, Bernard Foley and Israel Folau,” Fleck told Netwerk24.
Fleck said he wanted to see what Engelbrecht can bring to the party in midfield, having recently returned to the Stormers after spending time at the Bulls, Ospreys (Wales) and Toyota Industries Shuttles (Japan).
“EW carried his good play in last year’s Currie Cup into the match against the Jaguares – which was good to see. However, we want to see how JJ fares and there’s now an opportunity on the tour. It’s the perfect place for us to test our combinations and depth,” Fleck added.
In other changes made up front, Pieter-Steph du Toit comes into the second row alongside JD Schickerling, with Kobus van Dyk starting on the flank and Chris van Zyl and Sikhumbuzo Notshe among the replacements.
Van Dyk starts in place of Cobus Wiese in the No 7 jersey, who is rested this week.
15 Israel Folau, 14 Andrew Kellaway, 13 Lalakai Foketi, 12 Kurtley Beale, 11 Curtis Rona, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Jake Gordon, 8 Michael Wells, 7 Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Ned Hanigan, 5 Rob Simmons, 4 Tom Staniforth, 3 Paddy Ryan, 2 Damien Fitzpatrick, 1 Tom Robertson
Substitutes: 16 Hugh Roach, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Shambeckler Vui, 19 Nick Palmer, 20 Jed Holloway, 21 Mitch Short, 22Bryce Hegarty, 23 Alex Newsome
15 SP Marais, 14 Dillyn Leyds, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Raymond Rhule, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Nizaam Carr, 7 Kobus van Dyk, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 JD Schickerling, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Ramone Samuels, 1 Steven Kitshoff
Substitutes: 16 Dean Muir, 17 JC Janse ven Rensburg, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 George Whitehead, 23 EW Viljoen