Sun, 11 Apr 2021

  • The Stormers are yet to name a permanent replacement for Siya Kolisi as captain.
  • Lock Chris van Zyl will lead the team in the upcoming preparation series.
  • However, coach John Dobson says prop Steven Kitshoff and lock Salmaan Moerat are the other candidates.

Lock Chris van Zyl will captain the Stormers in the upcoming preparation series but a decision on a long-term leader has yet to be taken by coach John Dobson.

Dobson and Van Zyl addressed reporters on Wednesday after naming the team for this weekend's clash against the Cheetahs at Cape Town Stadium.

With Springbok captain Siya Kolisi having left to join the Sharks, the Capetonians are seeking a new leader and Dobson said he was pondering three options: Van Zyl, prop Steven Kitshoff and lock Salmaan Moerat.

"We've got ideas. Chris is here now and we've got great experience with him. Kitsie (Kitshoff) did a great job when Siya wasn't available for a fair portion of the last competition.

"We've got a guy like Salmaan Moerat who we're looking at as a long-term leader at this union. So, it will be one of those guys and we may even go as far as making an announcement once we're sort of clearer when the next tournament [is starting]. But those are pretty much our candidates," Dobson said.

Van Zyl, who will be leading a team boasting a good balance of experience and youth against the Cheetahs, said he was honoured to be handed the captain's armband for the team's first official match at their new home base, Cape Town Stadium.

"It's obviously a massive privilege, I've done it before in a packed stadium for SuperHero Sunday which was also special, but I think this one specifically, as we transgress and move from Newlands to the new beautiful Cape Town Stadium, is something I really will cherish," Van Zyl said.

Springbok prop Kitshoff is not playing on Saturday, but Dobson said his top internationals would all be utilised in the preparation series, which has also been called 'Franchise Cup' in some quarters.

"That's why it's called a preparation series. But at what stage we're going to do it... that's probably the only debate. We could be going into a two-week quarantine environment and our next game might be Leinster.

"Steven Kitshoff played his last game on the 23rd of January... and then to play against Leinster in the middle of April... that's one way of getting Steven Kitshoff injured. So, they will be playing in this series. How and when, we'll manage it.

"Chris will be the captain for the whole series but we have to get our guys as close to match fitness as [possible]. So, for us to play the Rainbow Cup, this series is actually quite important. So, the big Springboks will all feature in this series at some stage," Dobson said.

Saturday's match kicks off at 17:15.

Teams:

Stormers

15 Tristan Leyds, 14 Edwill van der Merwe, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Cornel Smit, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Marcel Theunissen, 5 Chris van Zyl (captain), 4 David Meihuizen, 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Ali Vermaak

Substitutes: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Johan du Toit, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Abner van Reenen, 23 Mnombo Zwelendaba

Cheetahs

TBA

Source: News24

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