Cape Town - The Stormers have opted not to risk Springbok duo Pieter-Steph du Toit and Siya Kolisi for Saturday’s pre-season friendly against the Bulls in Wellington on Saturday.
The Cape franchise on Thursday announced a 28-man squad for the warm-up match and Du Toit and Kolisi were notable absentees.
The Stormers said Du Toit was struggling with a sore back, while Kolisi has a hamstring injury.
The extent of the injuries was not revealed but it’s clear that the Stormers do not want to take any chances before the season proper starts.
Other players that were also not available for selection due to injury include Ali Vermaak (hamstring), Scarra Ntubeni (hamstring), Frans Malherbe (neck), Eben Etzebeth (shoulder), Juarno Augustus (neck), Jano Vermaak (knee), Jean-Luc du Plessis (hip), Dan du Plessis (shoulder) and SP Marais (toe).
Seabelo Senatla and Sikhumbuzo Notshe are away on Springbok Sevens duty and Nizaam Carr is being rested having recently returned from a loan spell with London Wasps.
The Stormers squad will take on the Bulls at 16:00 in their final warm-up match before their Super Rugby campaign kicks off - against the Jaguares at Newlands on February 17.
The Western Province Invitational team will face Boland Elite in a curtain-raiser at 13:50, with the action getting underway with an early local club match at Boland Stadium.
Jaco Coetzee, Jan de Klerk, Stephan de Wit, Johan du Toit, JC Janse van Rensberg, Steven Kitshoff, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Salmaan Moerat, Carlu Sadie, Ramone Samuels, JD Schickerling, Chris van Zyl, Kobus van Dyk, Cobus Wiese
Craig Barry, Damian de Allende, Dewaldt Duvenage, Dan Kriel, Eduan Keyter, Dillyn Leyds, Justin Phillips, Sergeal Petersen, Raymond Rhule, Josh Stander, EW Viljoen, George Whitehead, Damian Willemse
15 Divan Rossouw, 14 Andell Loubser, 13 Johnny Kotze, 12 Burger Odendaal (captain), 11 Duncan Matthews, 10 Marnitz Boshoff, 9 Andre Warner, 8 Jano Venter, 7 Hanro Liebenberg, 6 Roelof Smit, 5 RG Snyman, 4 Ruben van Heerden, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 Jaco Visagie, 1 Pierre Schoeman
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18 Frans van Wyk, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Marco van Staden, 21 Thembelani Bholi, 22 Embrose Papier, 23 Manie Libbok, 24 JT Jackson, 25 Dries Swanepoel, 26 Jade Stighling, 27 Franco Naude