Stormers make two changes for Crusaders - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Stormers make two changes for Crusaders

30/06/2011 01:56:46 AM Comments (0)

The Stormers have made two personnel changes for a Super Rugby semi-final against seven-time title holders Canterbury Crusaders at Newlands on Saturday.

Former Springbok Conrad Jantjies returns to a reshuffled backline in place of Juan de Jongh and Nick Koster comes in at number eight for long-term injury victim Duane Vermeulen.

Stormers defeated fellow South Africans Central Cheetahs 44-34 in their final southern hemisphere championship league match two weeks ago to finish second in the table and secure a home semi-final.

Jantjies will play at fullback with the more attack minded Gio Aplon moving to the right wing in place of Jean de Villiers, who takes over at inside centre from De Jongh.

Leading scorer and fly-half Peter Grant kicked 24 points against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on his return from a lengthy ankle injury-induced absence and partners Dewaldt Duvenage at half-back.

Koster is normally deployed as an impact loose forward and his elevation was expected after Vermeulen was sidelined for several months after limping off during the Cheetahs clash.

Experienced Springbok Schalk Burger and 'scavenger' Francois Louw, wbo has made several appearances for the national team, complete a formidable loose trio.

Andries Bekker -- the tallest player in Super 15 this season at 2.03 metres -- and Rynhardt Elstadt form a lock partnership that has ensured Stormers a plentiful supply of line-out ball this season.

Tiaan Liebenberg continues at hooker with Wicus Blaauw (loosehead) and Brok Harris (tighthead) completing the front row for a franchise that finished runners-up to the Pretoria-based Northern Bulls last season.

Among the replacements is Schalk Brits, a hooker from the London Saracens club whose short-term loan was approved by tournament organisers SANZAR on condition he is used only as a loose forward.

Crusaders defeated Stormers 20-14 at Newlands last month in the mini-league phase of the competition despite being hard hit by injuries with flank Richie McCaw and fly-half Dan Carter among the absentees.


Conrad Jantjies; Gio Aplon, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana; Peter Grant, Dewaldt Duvenage; Nick Koster, Francois Louw, Schalk Burger (capt); Andries Bekker, Rynhardt Elstadt; Brok Harris, Tiaan Liebenberg, Wicus Blaauw. Res: Deon Fourie, Steven Kitshoff, Anton van Zyl, Schalk Brits, Louis Schreuder, Juan de Jongh, Johann Sadie

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