Barry’s back as Jouba’s jolted

De Wet Barry’s exclusion from the Stormers starting team lasted one week. Keo.co.za has learnt that the poor form of Marius Joubert will mean Barry returns to the starting team for the Reds clash, but not as outside centre.

Stormers coach Kobus van der Merwe will opt to include Barry in the more familiar position of 12 in an effort to address the midfield defensive lapses which have plagued the Cape side’s campaign.

Jean de Villiers’ defensive demons see him shifted one out and he will start as outside centre, one spot closer to the touchline then he’d like on attack, but crucially one slot away from the channel he has been unable to defend adequately in the Vodacom Super 14 thus far.

Barry will reclaim the captaincy of the side, whilst Joubert reverts to the bench. Before returning from injury, Jouba told SA Rugby Magazine he was haunted and hungry. His performances so far have shown him to be more the former than the latter, and he will not be able to question his axing.

Van der Merwe will also opt to retain the same back three who did duty against the Chiefs. The Hamilton side’s realisation that neither fullback Tonderai Chavhanga or winger Jongi Nokwe are secure on the high ball was the decisive factor in the Cape side’s loss on the weekend.

Reds coach Jeff Millar is sure to instruct a few early launches, and the pressure on the inexperienced and out of form Chavhanga and Nokwe will be huge.

Neil de Kock’s stand-out performance against the Chiefs when afforded his second start has not been deemed sufficient for a third. An injury concern has also contributed, with De Kock forced from the field before the fulltime whistle. Bolla Conradie reclaims jersey 9 and De Kock will again deputise.

Lock Ross Skeate is crocked again, and Gerrie Britz returns to partner Andries Bekker in the second row.

STORMERS SIDE TO PLAY THE CHIEFS (probable)

15. Tonderai Chavhanga
14. Rayno Benjamin
13. Jean de Villiers
12. De Wet Barry (c)
11. Jongi Nokwe
10. Naas Olivier
9. Bolla Conradie
8. Joe van Niekerk
7. Schalk Burger
6. Luke Watson
5. Andries Bekker
4. Gerrie Britz
3. Eddie Andrews
2. Schalk Brits
1. JD Moller

SUBS

16. Hanyani Shimange
17. Neil Fullard
18. Henk Eksteen
19. Adri Badenhorst
20. Neil de Kock
21. Peter Grant
22. Marius Joubert

By Chris Hewitt