Botha hopes to break captaincy curse

Gary Botha will captain the Bulls against the Stormers on Saturday, hoping that an injury-free 80 minutes will end the captaincy curse that has descended on Loftus.

After both Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez were struck down by injury after their appointments were confirmed, Botha will certainly be hoping that it proves to be third time lucky.

He squares off against Schalk Brits, who will similarly captain the Stormers despite it being his debut appearance.

The firepower surrounding the respective skippers differs markedly however. The Bully boys have named their usual gargantuan pack, and the prospect of the second choice Stormers outfit competing upfront is not an eventuality expected by many.

The Bulls back row is powerful and balanced by the inclusion of specialist opensider Tim Dlulane, whilst for the Stormers there is the scary possibility of an untested No 8 in Dawid Hendricks retreating fearfully behind a crumbling pack whilst attempting to maintain a semblance of control at scrumtime. Paul Delport, finally elevated to the starting lineup of a Cape side, could be due a long afternoon picking up the pieces.

Both sides have pace out wide, but the midfields again appear unmatched with Gus Theron starting in the unfamiliar position of inside centre opposite Dries Scholtz. Expect his channel to be busier than a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs.

Stormers

15. Justin Peach
14. Egon Seconds
13. Piet van Zyl
12. Gus Theron
11. Tonderai Chavhanga
10. Naas Olivier
9. Paul Delport
8. Dawid Hendricks
7. Justin Melck
6. Hendrik Gerber
5. Gerrie Britz
4. Henk Eksteen
3. Attie Winter
2. Schalk Brits (c)
1. Doug Wheatley

Bulls

15. Marius Delport
14. Akona Ndungane
13. JP Nel
12. Dries Scholtz
11. Bryan Habana
10. Derick Hougaard
9. Neil Powell
8. Jacques Cronje
7. Danie Rossouw
6. Tim Dlulane
5. Francois van Schouwenburg
4. Bakkies Botha
3. Andries Human
2. Gary Botha (c)
1. Jaco Engels