Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

Stormers leave Boks at home for Ulster URC clash

Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that there are a number of players in the squad who will be looking to make a big impression.

The Stormers have left key Springboks Steven Kitshoff and Damian Willemse at home to receive a well-deserved rest, ahead of their United Rugby Championship (URC) match against Ulster at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast on Friday night.

With the incredibly tough travel situation faced by all SA teams and the heavy workload that the Bok regulars have endured over the past year and a half, it is a smart decision to give Kitshoff and Willemse a breather in what is a short turnaround after their Champions Cup game on Saturday night.

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Another Bok, Marvin Orie, has been backed to lead the 27-man Stormers squad that left for Ireland on Sunday morning, after beating French side Clermont the night before, in the absence of regular captain Kitshoff.

The squad was boosted by the return of two former Springboks, Scarra Ntubeni and Juan de Jongh have both been included having recovered from their injury woes, while new signing Ruben van Heerden has been brought straight in to bolster their ailing lock stocks.

In all Orie leads a squad with a blend of youth and experience as they aim to upset what should be a full strength Ulster side that will be keen to pick up a win ahead of their internationals leaving for the Six Nations.

Big impression

Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that there are a number of players in the squad who will be looking to make a big impression.

“We have some players missing due to resting protocols and injuries, but this is a squad full of talent and we are looking forward to seeing what they can do.

“We will not have a lot of training time this week, but everyone is looking forward to the challenge,” he said.

Forwards: Kwenzo Blose, Ben-Jason Dixon, Willie Engelbrecht, Connor Evans, Brok Harris, JJ Kotze, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Scarra Ntubeni, Marvin Orie (captain), Junior Pokomela, Evan Roos, Sazi Sandi, Marcel Theunissen, Ruben van Heerden, Andre-Hugo Venter, Ali Vermaak

Backs: Clayton Blommetjies, Juan de Jongh, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Herschel Jantjies, Imad Khan, Ruhan Nel, Cornel Smit, Stefan Ungerer, Kade Wolhuter

Unavailable: Angelo Davids, Steven Kitshoff, Alapati Leuia, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Gary Porter, Seabelo Senatla, Adre Smith, Ernst van Rhyn, Damian Willemse, Nama Xaba, Leolin Zas