JdV to lead Stormers against Bulls
Stormers centre Jean de Villiers will captain the Cape Town-based side in Friday's Super Rugby opener against the Bulls in Pretoria.
De Villiers will lead the team into battle in the absence of Schalk Burger (calf muscle injury), whilst there are first-ever Stormers Super Rugby starts for new recruits Jaco Taute, Elton Jantjies and Pat Cilliers.
Twenty-one-year-old centre Damian de Allende, who started in the 2012 Currie Cup Final, will get his first-ever taste of Super Rugby action, whilst, on the bench, Nizaam Carr (knee) and Dewaldt Duvenage (broken leg) make their returns are spending some time on the sidelines last year.
Reserve hooker Martin Bezuidenhout will be hoping for his first official game in a Stormers jersey after featuring in pre-season games against the Cheetahs and Boland, whilst Springbok lock Andries Bekker will play in his 95th Super Rugby match for the Stormers.
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (c), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gerhard van den Heever, 22 Joe Pietersen.
Date: Friday, February 22
Kick-off: 19:10 local (17:10 GMT)
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)