Roos to openside as Stormers make three changes

rugby17 May 2024 13:31
By:Gavin Rich
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Evans Roos © Gallo Images

DHL Stormers coach John Dobson has made three changes plus two positional switches to his team for Saturday’s crucial penultimate Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash with Connacht in Galway.

The headline change is a switch for regular No 8 Evan Roos, who this week confirmed that he’d be a Stormer for at least another three seasons, to the openside flank.

That is to accommodate Hacjivah Dayimani at the back of the scrum.

Dayimani, who is understood to be weighing up a move to France next season, made a big difference to the Stormers when his attacking X-factor was introduced in the second half of last week’s game against the Dragons in Newport.

And with Ben-Jason Dixon in good form and an out and out blindside flank when he’s not being used as emergency cover in the second row, it makes sense for Roos’s combativeness in contact to be moved to the No 6 jersey.

The return of Dayimani is not the only change to the pack this week, with veteran Brok Harris returning to the starting team for Sti Sithole, who is not in the match day squad for this game. Kwezo Blose comes in as loosehead cover on the bench.

There is one change plus a positional switch at the back, with Dan du Plessis switching from inside to outside centre for Wandisile Simelane to accommodate the return of Springbok World Cup winner Damian Willemse in the No 12 jersey.

With Warrick Gelant in such fine form at fullback, Willemse’s inclusion in the midfield was expected, although it is unlucky for Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu that no place can be found for him in the starting team.

Another player who has already committed to the Stormers long term, Feinberg Mngomezulu produced a brilliant cameo as a replacement against the Dragons.

DHL Stormers team: Warrick Gelant, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Dan du Plessis, Damian Willemse, Angelo Davids, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Hacjivah Dayimani, Ben-Jason Dixon, Evan Roos, Ruben van Heerden, Salmaan Moerat (captain), Frans Malherbe, Joseph Dweba, Brok Harris.

Replacements: Andre-Hugo vener, Kwenzo Blose, Neethling Fouche, Adre Smith, Marcel Theunissen, Stefan Ungerer, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.