Super Rugby

Double blow for Stormers as Bok duo sidelined

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Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)
Eben Etzebeth (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The Stormers will be without the services of Springbok duo Eben Etzebeth and Damian Willemse for the remainder of the Super Rugby campaign.

The Cape franchise confirmed on Thursday that lock Etzebeth will be sidelined for a period of six weeks after breaking a bone in his hand against the Lions last weekend, while fullback/flyhalf Willemse is set to be out for a month with a knee injury.

They remain a doubt for the start of the Springboks' Rugby Championship campaign, but are expected to be fit for the Rugby World Cup.

Loose forward Sikhumbuzo Notshe will also be sidelined for between four and six weeks due to an ankle injury.

The Stormers have been laid low by injuries to senior players in recent weeks, with captain Siya Kolisi (knee) and lock/flank Pieter-Steph du Toit (shoulder) also sidelined.

Due to the injury crisis, coach Robbie Fleck was forced to pick three newcomers for Saturday's Super Rugby clash against the Sunwolves at Newlands.

Wing Edwill van der Merwe has been named in the starting XV, while lock David Meihuizen and flank Chris Massyn are on the bench for the clash against the Japanese team.

Former Junior Springbok star and prolific Maties try-scorer Van der Merwe features out wide in place of Seabelo Senatla, who is recovering from concussion.

Dillyn Leyds shifts to fullback in place of the injured Willemse and Craig Barry takes his place on the right wing.Dan Kriel is in at inside centre for Damian de Allende who is being rested as part of the Springbok management plan.

Jean-Luc du Plessis starts at flyhalf, while Jano Vermaak and EW Viljoen both make their return to the Stormers via the bench.

Captain Steven Kitshoff is joined by Frans Malherbe and a fit-again Bongi Mbonambi in the front row, while Chris van Zyl also makes his retun from injury to link up with Cobus Wiese in the second row.

Jaco Coetzee will be at the back of the scrum, with Johan du Toit and Ernst van Rhyn on the flanks.

Meihuizen and Massyn, who have both shown their worth for Western Province in the SuperSport Rugby Challenge, are set to make their debut from the bench.

Saturday's clash is scheduled for 17:15.

Teams:

Stormers

15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Craig Barry, 13 JJ Engelbrecht, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Johan du Toit, 6 Ernst van Rhyn, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Cobus Wiese, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain)

Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 David Meihuizen, 20 Chris Massyn, 21 Jano Vermaak, 22 Josh Stander, 23 EW Viljoen

Sunwolves

15 Semisi Masirewa, 14 Gerhard Van Den Heever, 13 Josh Timu, 12 Phil Burleigh, 11 Hosea Saumaki, 10 Hayden Parker, 9 Jamie Booth, 8 Ben Gunter, 7 Shuhei Matsuhashi, 6 Ryota Hasegawa, 5 Tom Rowe, 4 Mark Abbott, 3 Conan O’Donnell, 2 Jaba Bregvadze, 1 Alex Woonton

Substitutes: 16 Takuya Kitade, 17 Masataka Mikami, 18 Takuma Asahara, 19 Yuya Odo, 20 Masakatsu Nishikawa, 21 Keisuke Uchida, 22 Timothy Lafaele, 23 Akihito Yamada

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