Nokwe axed, Shimmie starts

As predicted on keo.co.za, the Stormers side to take on the Highlanders will show three changes and one positional switch from the team that drew 15-all with the Brumbies in the Vodacom Super 14.

Two poor games in succession will see Jongi Nokwe drop out of the match 22, with Jean de Villiers again favoured to recover from a groin strain to make his first appearance since the opening encounter with the Cats.

Gus ‘the Gas man’ Theron will start his third consecutive game, but shifts to the wing to accomodate De Villiers in the midfield.

At hooker Hanyani Shimage is handed jersey 2 for the second time, and Schalk Brits will again fulfil the role of impact player. Coach Kobus van der Merwe had strongly hinted to keo.co.za on Monday that Shimange would be better suited to the more physical Highlander forwards.

Andries Bekker’s quest for fitness was always doomed to fail after he suffered a torn stomach muscle against the Brumbies, and thus Bolander Henk Eksteen will be rewarded with his first start for the Cape side.

Marius Joubert’s six months of hell is over and he returns to a competitive match 22 for the first time since last year’s Tri-Nations. He is likely to get at least 30 minutes, most likely as a replacement for Theron on the wing, depending on the fitness of De Villiers.

STORMERS SIDE TO PLAY THE HIGHLANDERS (Probable)

15. Werner Greeff
14. Rayno Benjamin
13. De Wet Barry (c)
12. Jean de Villiers
11. Gus Theron
10. Peter Grant
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Adri Badenhorst
7. Schalk Burger
6. Luke Watson
5. Henk Eksteen
4. Ross Skeate
3. Eddie Andrews
2. Hanyani Shimange
1. JD Moller

Subs

16. Schalk Brits
17. Neil Fullard
18. Gerrie Britz
19. Justin Melck
20. Neil de Kock
21. Naas Olivier
22. Marius Joubert