Elton Jantjies will start for the Stormers against the Bulls on Friday night.
Jantjies has been picked at flyhalf and another of the Lions imports, Jaco Taute, starts at fullback.
Springbok captain Jean de Villiers will lead the side because of Schalk Burger’s injury-enforced absence.
Burger has not played for a year and his recovery has again been a struggle. He was hopeful of being among the substitutes for the Super Rugby opener against the Bulls, but the Stormers management won’t rush his return and risk him suffering long term damage. Burger, the demolition man for almost a decade, will be conservative, especially after fellow 2007 World Cup-winning Bok Juan Smith played in two warm-up matches but then announced his retirement because of Achilles Heel problems.
Siya Kolisi is the run on No 6 and the very talented Nizaam Carr is among the loose-forward replacements.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gerhard van den Heever, 22 Joe Pietersen.
The Bulls management will confirm the match 23 on Tuesday but Wilhelm Steenkamp and Dean Greyling have already been ruled out because of injury.
By Mark Keohane
More to follow