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Premiership Rugby

Experimental Stormers side for first UK clash

A Gallagher Premiership Rugby ball

Young Boland centre Piet van Zyl, a late replacement for De Wet Barry (broken nose) and Werner Greeff (knee), will start at outside centre, where he will be partnered by Gus Theron, a regular No.13 or wing.

Former Griquas and Sharks utility back Gaffie du Toit will start at flyhalf, where he will be partnered by Johannes Conradie, while former Boland fullback Lean van Dyk makes up a new-look back three with Springbok stalwart Breyton Paulse and SA Sevens representative Egon Seconds.

Bok skipper Corné Krige will lead the side from his usual position on the side of the Stormers scrum, where he is partnered by regular provincial colleagues Adri Badenhorst and Pietie Ferreira.

In the second row, new signing Rob Linde will partner Quinton Davids, while in the front row, Cobus Visagie, Pieter Dixon and Daan Human will all be starting after undergoing various operations last season.

Visagie and Dixon are back in action after picking up serious ankle injuries last year, while Human underwent minor neck surgery at the end of 2002.

Springboks Selborne Boome (lock/loose forward), Hottie Louw (lock), Robbie Fleck (centre), Chris Rossouw (flyhalf), Hendrik Gerber (loose forward) and Pieter Rossouw (wing), should all get a run off the bench, along with fringe players Martin van Schalkwyk (hooker), Eddie Andrews (prop), Noël Oelschig (scrumhalf), Jaco Gouws (No.8) and Tjoepie van den Heever (hooker).

The latter put in a big performance in the Stormers' first warm-up game of the season – against the Bulls – and his battle with Pieter Dixon and Martin van Schalkwyk for the hooking berth should be an interesting one.

Preparations by the Stormers for Tuesday's game were disrupted due to flight delays caused by the bad weather the United Kingdom is currently experiencing. The Stormers were eventually split over four flights to the UK, with the last group arriving only on Monday morning due to a 24-hour delay in Nairobi.

The Cape Town-based Stormers face the British (Sale) Sharks in Manchester on Tuesday evening before travelling south where they will face fellow South Africans, the Sharks, at the Stoop.

"We are looking forward to both games," said coach Gert Smal.

"The tour has the dual purpose of preparing us for the gruelling Super 12 competition, and off the field represents an incredible opportunity to grow our brand in the northern hemisphere."

The Stormers team: 15 Lean van Dyk, 14 Breyton Paulse, 13 Piet van Zyl, 12 Gus Theron, 11 Egon Seconds, 10. Gaffie du Toit, 9 Johannes Conradie, 8 Adri Badenhorst, 7 Pietie Ferreira, 6 Corné Krige (captain), 5 Rob Linde, 4 Quinton Davids, 3 Cobus Visagie, 2 Pieter Dixon, 1 Daan Human.Replacements: 16 Martin van Schalkwyk, 17 Eddie Andrews, 18 Selborne Boome, 19 Hottie Louw, 20 Noël Oelschig, 21 Robbie Fleck, 22 Chris Rossouw, 23 Hendrik Gerber, 24 Jaco Gouws, 25 Pieter Rossouw, 26 Tjoepie van den Heever.

Kick-off: 19.45 GMT


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