Frans Malherbe leads Stormers to battle against Ospreys

Frans Malherbe leads Stormers to battle against Ospreys

Experienced prop Frans Malherbe will captain the Stormers in their United Rugby Championship match against the Ospreys at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

There are several changes to the Stormers team for the clash with the Welsh outfit, which kicks off at 19:15 on Saturday.

Malherbe will pack down in the front row alongside hooker JJ Kotze and Brok Harris, who is the only player in the current squad with more Stormers caps than the skipper.

Gary Porter and Adre Smith form an all-new second row, while Evan Roos is joined by flanks Nama Xaba and Hacjivah Dayimani in the loose trio.

There are six forwards on the replacements bench as hooker Scarra Ntubeni and props Sazi Sandi and Kwenzo Blose come into the mix, with Ruben van Heerden also set to provide an impact in the second half along with loose forwards Willie Engelbrecht and Marcel Theunissen.

Scrumhalf Stefan Ungerer will link up with Manie Libbok at halfback, while the centre partnership of Dan du Plessis and Wandisile Simelane which impressed against Edinburgh earlier in the season is reunited.

Fullback Warrick Gelant will have wings Ben Loader and Suleiman Hartzenberg outside him, while Paul de Wet and Damian Willemse are set to be unleashed from the bench in the second half.

Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson said that this match is vital for his team in the context of the season.

"We are getting closer to the playoffs, which means that every match becomes our most important and we will certainly be treating this game that way," told the Stormers website.

"We will have a few exciting combinations out there and they will need to fire from the first whistle if we are to get the result we need against a highly competitive Ospreys side.

"It promises to be another great night at DHL Stadium and we can't wait to see our fans out there again."

Stormers - 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Wandisile Simelane, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Ben Loader, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Stefan Ungerer, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Adre Smith, 3 Frans Malherbe (c), 2 JJ Kotze, 1 Brok Harris.
Replacements - 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Kwenzo Blose, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Ruben van Heerden, 20 Willie Engelbrecht, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Damian Willemse.

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