Highly rated youngster to make his Stormers debut in United Rugby Championship playoff

Highly rated youngster to make his Stormers debut in United Rugby Championship playoff

Stormers Head Coach John Dobson has announced his team to face Edinburgh in the United Rugby Championship quarterfinal against Edinburgh on Saturday

Dobson has thrown somewhat of a selection surprise with highly-rated youngster Sacha Mngomezulu. A South African u20 international, Mngomezulu made his Western Province debut against the Cheetahs last year.

Mngomezulu attended the famed Bishops Diocesan College, the same school former Springbok Francois Louw attended, he also played for the SA U18 Sevens

Springbok back Damian Willemse misses the clash, Rikus Pretorius comes into the starting XV in his place, with Dobson emphasising that he had been given as much time as possible to prove his fitness, it was decided not to risk him with Pretorius ready to step in.

"We gave Damian as much time as we could to make it for this match, but in the end it was not worth the risk, especially as we have a quality player in Rikus to start at 12. It also gives the talented Sacha Mngomezulu an opportunity to show what he can do when he comes on," he added.

The inclusion of Herschel Jantjies and Pretorius are the only changes from the team that started the win against Scarlets in Llanelli, which saw them clinch the South African Shield in the final game of the regular season.

Jantjies starts at scrumhalf, while the only other changes to the matchday squad see lock Adre Smith and debutant utility back Sacha Mngomezulu included among the replacements.

Dobson said that his team want to make the most of the opportunity to play a quarterfinal in front of their faithful supporters.

"A lot of hard work has gone into securing this home quarterfinal, so we are determined to rise to the occasion.

"It has been a good week of preparation and everyone is excited about what should be a memorable day.

"We want to raise the intensity and make sure that we are at our best for the full 80 minutes, playing the kind of rugby that has got us into this position," he said.

Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Seabelo Senatla, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain).

Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Ernst van Rhyn, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu.

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