Vermeulen back to lead Stormers against Bulls

2015-04-24 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Springbok No. 8 Duane Vermeulen is back from his two-week rest period and will lead the Stormers in tomorrow’s Super Rugby North-South derby against the Bulls at Newlands (7.10 pm kick-off).

Vermeulen missed the final two weeks of the Stormers’ Super Rugby tour as part of the SA franchises’ rest agreement with SA Rugby, but his ­return marks one of four changes to the starting line-up that defeated the Western Force 13-6 in Perth last ­Saturday.

Two of the four changes are injury enforced, with Johnny Kotze and Pat Howard (on debut) replacing the ­injured wing duo of Kobus van Wyk (knee — six weeks) and Dillyn Leyds (shoulder — one week), respectively.

Howard will make his Super Rugby debut, with Kotze set to win his sixth cap.

Nizaam Carr moves to the bench to make way for Vermeulen’s ­expected return to action, while the fourth and final change sees Nic Groom take over at scrumhalf from Louis Schreuder, who, like Carr, ­reverts to the bench.

Joining Carr and Schreuder among the replacements is prop Oli Kebble, with Alistair Vermaak — along with Sikhumbuzo Notshe — doing duty for the Western Province Vodacom Cup team this weekend.

Stormers: 15 Cheslin Kolbe, 14 Johnny Kotze, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Pat Howard, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen (captain), 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Ruan Botha, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Oli Kebble, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Jean Kleyn, 20 Nizaam Carr, 21 Louis Schreuder, 22 Kurt Coleman, 23 Huw Jones.

Bulls: 15 Jesse Kriel, 14 Francois Hougaard, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Jan Serfontein, 11 Bjorn Basson, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Piet van Zyl, 8 Pierre Spies (captain), 7 Jacques du Plessis, 6 Deon Stegmann, 5 Grant Hattingh, 4 Flip van der Merwe, 3 Marcel van der Merwe, 2 Adriaan Strauss, 1 Dean Greyling Replacements: 16 Callie Visagie, 17 Morne Mellet, 18 Arno Botha, 19 Lappies Labuschagne, 20 Akona Ndungane, 21 Tian Schoeman, 22 Jurgen Visser, 23 Trevor Nyakane.

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