Shimmie shafted again

Hanyani ‘Splinters’ Shimange was first choice Stormers hooker for all of 37 minutes.

The Bok back-up hooker was adamant pre-season that he was the man in possession, statements supported by the coaching staff.

This lasted all of 37 minutes, and now coach Kobus van der Merwe is dancing to an entirely different tune.

Shimange, who delivered an impressive opening half-hour against the Cats, had to leave the field with a knock to the leg, allowing Schalk Brits to make his debut for his new franchise in front of his old fans.

The same injury meant Shimange was in doubt for the Waratahs game, resulting in Brits starting. Eighty minutes later and he’s no longer the injury replacement, but the man in possession,

Brits starts against the Brumbies, with a fully fit Shimange back in that familiar jersey 16. When the man retires they should retire the number, so synonymous is it with the former Rondebosch Boys pupil.

As predicted on Keo.co.za, Van der Merwe has opted to include Jean de Villiers in the starting line-up, and his chances of playing are pegged at 80%.

Interestingly, however, he is named as outside centre with De Wet Barry retaining 12. Whether this is just a ploy to throw off Brumbies coach Laurie Fisher, however, remains to be seen.

The rest of the starting side is unchanged from the six point defeat to the Waratahs.

On the bench, Attie Winter has deservedly lost his place after two poor showings, with Neil Fullard fulfilling the role as replacement prop.

Justin Melck is in as loose forward cover for David Hendricks, and Gus Theron replaces Joe Pietersen as outside back cover. The Gas Man ain’t going anywhere boys.

STORMERS SIDE TO PLAY BRUMBIES

15. Werner Greeff
14. Rayno Benjamin
13. Jean De Villiers
12. De Wet Barry (c)
11. Jongi Nokwe
10. Peter Grant
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Adri Badenhorst
7. Schalk Burger
6. Luke Watson
5. Andries Bekker
4. Ross Skeate
3. Eddie Andrews
2. Schalk Brits
1. JD Moller

Subs

16. Hanyani Shimange
17. Neil Fullard
18. Henk Eksteen
19. Justin Melck
20. Neil De Kock
21. Naas Olivier
22. Gus Theron