The Cape side will be eager to bounce back after their hurting defeat to the Vodacom Bulls in Pretoria, while the Highvelders travel down south on the back of a first ever away win over the tough Jaguares.

Kick off is at 17h15.

Springbok tour squad member Sergeal Petersen will make his DHL Stormers debut on Saturday and he starts on the right wing in one of four changes to the home side. The other changes to the backline see Jean-Luc du Plessis start at flyhalf, with Damian Willemse shifting to fullback in place of the injured Dillyn Leyds, while Joshua Stander comes onto the bench.

The only change to the forward pack is in the second row, with Chris van Zyl at lock in place of the injured Salmaan Moerat. Fit-again Springboks Frans Malherbe and Eben Etzebeth are among the replacements, along with flank Jaco Coetzee, who is also set to get his first run of the campaign.

Emirates Lions coach Swys de Bruin made three changes to his starting XV which beat the Jaguares 25-16 in Buenos Aires. In a rotational switch in the backline, one Springbok replaces another as Ruan Combrinck comes in for Aphiwe Dyantyi at left wing, with the latter on the bench.

Former Blitzbok star Kwagga Smith is back amongst the forwards, replacing Hacjivah Dayimani in the No 7 jersey, while Stephan Lewies and comes in for Rhyno Herbst at lock. Sti Sithole, Gianni Lombard and Sylvian Mahuza are the newcomers on the bench.

The Emirates Lions are on an excellent winning streak against their SA opposition and they are undefeated in 22 of their last 23 matches against local opposition (W21, L1, D1), so they will be fairly confident of continuing with that impressive trend.

Aimee Barret-Theron will become the first South African woman assistant referee in a Vodacom Super Rugby fixture when she takes the touchline flag on Saturday in Cape Town.

What they said:

DHL Stormers Head Coach Robbie Fleck said his team are looking forward to playing in front of their home supporters: “It is always special to play at DHL Newlands in front of our passionate fans, so we will be giving it everything we have got on Saturday. We are determined to raise our standards and deliver the type of rugby that we can be proud of.”

Emirates Lions coach Swys de Bruin says he expects a huge battle from the Cape side in front of their passionate supporters: “The DHL Stormers are a proud side and they will be eager to give a performance that will make their supporters very proud of them. Local derbies are always tough and closely fought battles so we are ready for a backlash on Saturday.”


DHL Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Chris van Zyl, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Ali Vermaak. Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Eben Etzebeth, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Herschel Jantjies, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 Dan du Plessis.

Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Courtnall Skosan, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Harold Vorster, 11 Ruan Combrinck, 10 Elton Jantjies 9 Nic Groom, 8 Warren Whiteley (captain), 7 Kwagga Smith, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Stephan Lewies, 4 Marvin Orie, 3 Carlu Sadie, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Pieter Jansen, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 Sti Sithole, 19 Rhyno Herbst, 20 Hacjivah Dayimane, 21 Gianni Lombard, 22 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 23 Sylvian Mahuza.

Head to head:
Played:  17
DHL Stormers won: 11
Emirates Lions won: 6
Draws: 1
DHL Stormers points: 424
Emirates Lions points: 357
Average score: 25-21

Match information:

Date: Saturday, 23 February
SA time: 17h15
Venue: DHL Newlands, Cape Town
Referee: Egon Seconds
Assistant referees: Divan Uys, Aimee Barret-Theron
Television Match Official: Christie du Preez
TV: SuperSport1