Welcome to the Cape of Stormers, Hurricanes

CAPE TOWN – There will be no shortage of things to grab and hold everybody’s attention when the Stormers host the Hurricanes in their Super Rugby-opener at Newlands tomorrow (3.05pm kick-off).

This could be a big year for the Stormers.

Not only is it their last year at Newlands, but they also have the most Springboks of all the South African teams – Springboks who won the World Cup, by the way (just in case you forgot).

Then there’s the draw, and it’s a favourable one, with the Cape side playing their first six games in South Africa, four of those at Newlands.

This Stormers team features 10 Springboks, seven of them World Cup-winners, and one British & Irish Lion in Jamie Roberts.

Roberts will be partnered in midfield by experienced Blitzbok Ruhan Nel. Fullback Dillyn Leyds and wings Sergeal Petersen and Seabelo Senatla form the back three, with Damian Willemse and Herschel Jantjies the exciting halfback pairing.

116463237 - Welcome to the Cape of Stormers, Hurricanes
Ruhan Nel will partner new stormers signing Jamie Roberts in midfield. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Up front, captain Siya Kolisi is joined in the loose trio by World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit and Jaco Coetzee, while Chris van Zyl and Salmaan Moerat make up the starting the second row. Frans Malherbe, Bongi Mbonambi and Steven Kitshoff team up in the all-Bok front row.

How the Hurricanes go without the magician that is Beauden Barrett is also going to be a big factor, while the influence of their new coach is also something to look out for.

They still, however have a lot of X-factor. But that’s not, at all, something the Stormers have to feel short-handed with.

But the goal for this weekend is clear – to dominate the Hurricanes up front.

The Stormers’ pack is a massive one, one that can hammer the Canes at the set-piece and in the collisions. But what they do after that is going to be just as important, especially given the threats the Kiwis have in their line-up.

@WynonaLouw


IOL Sport

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