Bekker to lead in Boland bout

Lock Andries Bekker has been named as Stormers captain for Saturday’s match against Boland.

Jean de Villiers will be unavailable for this fixture due to a bicep injury but will return to lead the Stormers in the second warm-up and in the opening Super 14 game against the Bulls. Bekker has been selected as skipper against Boland over former captain Luke Watson and Springbok flanker Schalk Burger.

Watson led the Cape franchise last season but has since been succeeded by De Villiers, while his favourite No 6 position has also reverted to Burger. Watson is still very much in contention for a starting spot however, even though he could face the Bulls wearing 8 on his back.

Francois Louw is included on the blindside, while Francois van der Merwe gets an opportunity at lock with Ross Skeate still sidelined with injury. Tiaan Liebenberg will start at hooker with Schalk Brits due for a run in the second half.

Bolla Conradie and Peter Grant will start at halfback with Gcobani Bobo set for a return to centre after playing last year’s Currie Cup on the wing for the Sharks. Tonderai Chavhanga will be determined to impress Erasmus after missing most of the 2007 season through injury.

Boland – 15 Justin Peach, 14 Alvin Hugo, 13 Piet van Zyl, 12 Hein Myburgh, 11 Alshaun Bock, 10 Lionel Cornelius, 9 Neil Papier, 8 Francois Prinsloo, 7 Henley du Plessis, 6 Zolani Mofu, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Coenie Basson, 3 Andries Human, 2 Pieter Wium, 1 Jean Botha.
Replacements (from): Clement Lewis, Tommy Dixon, Frikkie Spies, Milroy Isaacs, Marnus Hugo, Jacquin Jansen, Kobus Meintjes, John Daniels, Monray Liebenberg.

Stormers – 15 Gio Aplon, 14 Tonderai Chavhanga, 13 Dylan Des Fountain, 12 Gcobani Bobo, 11 Sireli Naqelevuki, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Bolla Conradie, 8 Luke Watson, 7 Francois Louw, 6 Schalk Burger, 5 Andries Bekker (c), 4 Francois van der Merwe, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 JD Moller.
Replacements (from): Schalk Brits, Schalk Ferreira, Adriaan Fondse, Pieter Myburgh, Dewaldt Duvenage, Isma-eel Dollie, Corné Uys, Ruaan du Preez, Justin Melck, Robbie Diack, Joe Pietersen.