They will depart for New Zealand – from Cape Town and via Johannesburg and Sydney – on Saturday afternoon and will arrive in Queenstown on the morning of March 23 (NZ time).
Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen will captain the side which include other Boks like lock Eben Etzebeth, flank Schalk Burger, centre Juan de Jongh, prop Frans Malherbe and flank Nizaam Carr.
One other Bok not included is the utility back Jaco Taute who is struggling to overcome a niggling knee injury sustained in pre-season preparation, while flank Rynhardt Elstadt was not considered after suffering a broken leg against the Blues three weekends ago. The Stormers currently head up the SA Conference with 16 points from five matches, while they are in third position on the overall log – having lost just once in five fixtures (two at home, three away).
“Our loss to the Chiefs was obviously a disappointing one for us, but it’s up to us to bounce back on tour,” said Stormers head coach Allister Coetzee.
“That said; we’re a team that enjoys touring. “We’re a close squad and even though we have a lot of first-time (Super Rugby) tourists in the group, our strong leadership team will give those new players the necessary guidance and support throughout.” The only other player unavailable because of injury is hard-working flanker Rynhardt Elstadt (broken leg – suffered against the Blues in Round Two).
Vermeulen, the incumbent Bok No 8, is likely to be rested for the first tour game against the Highlanders as he has already played five straight games and has to get a break according to the arrangement between the franchises and Saru regarding the top Bok players.
In such an event, centre Juan de Jongh, the regular vice-captain and last year’s Currie Cup-winning skipper, could take over as the new captain with flank Schalk Burger acting as his deputy.
Scrumhalf Louis Schreuder has been included despite suffering concussion in the loss last weekend against the Chiefs after which he was replaced by Nic Groom, who should also be the starting No 9 against the difficult Highlanders. “I always say it, but there is not an easy match in Super Rugby. “It certainly doesn’t get any easier away from home against quality outfits like the Highlanders, Hurricanes, the defending champion Waratahs and the Force,” said Coetzee.
2015 DHL STORMERS
TOURING SQUAD (27):
Ruan Botha – Lock
Schalk Burger – Loose forward
Manuel Carizza – Lock
Nizaam Carr – Loose forward
Demetri Catrakilis – Flyhalf
Kurt Coleman – Flyhalf
Damian de Allende – Centre
Juan de Jongh – Centre (vice-captain)
Eben Etzebeth – Lock
Nic Groom – Scrumhalf
Huw Jones – Centre/wing
Oli Kebble – Loosehead prop
Steven Kitshoff – Loosehead prop
Jean Kleyn – Lock
Vincent Koch – Tighthead prop
Cheslin Kolbe – Fullback/wing
Siya Kolisi – Loose forward
Johnny Kotze – Wing/centre
Dillyn Leyds – Wing/fullback/flyhalf
Frans Malherbe – Tighthead prop
Bongi Mbonambi – Hooker
Scarra Ntubeni – Hooker
Michael Rhodes – Flank/lock
Louis Schreuder – Scrumhalf
Kobus van Wyk – Wing/centre
Alistair Vermaak – Loosehead prop
Duane Vermeulen – No.8 (captain)