South Africa’s ailing Stormers have added four Springbok players to their side for the crucial home Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Newlands on Saturday.
The Stormers have won one of their last five matches and sit bottom of the South African Conference, though they are only four points off the first-placed Bulls in a tightly-contested pool and must win to have a realistic chance of progress.
Bok captain Siya Kolisi has been brought back into the starting lineup at flank, while prop Frans Malherbe and inside centre Damian de Allende also return. Former Bok JJ Engelbrecht partners De Allende in the midfield.
Experienced lock Eben Etzebeth takes his place on the bench after an injury-lay-off, with Jean-Luc du Plessis to start in the flyhalf berth.
“It is great to welcome back some senior players for this game, but it will require a big effort from every single one of us to deliver the performance we are looking for on Saturday,” coach Robbie Fleck said.
The Bulls thumped the Stormers 40-3 in Pretoria on the opening weekend of Super Rugby but have not won at Newlands since 2011.
The Cape Town-based Stormers have traditionally been strong at home, beating the Sharks, Lions and Jaguares this year before a surprise 19-17 defeat by the ACT Brumbies last weekend.
(Reporting by Nick Said; Editing by Ken Ferris)