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- Super Rugby
- Semi Final
- 28th Jul 2012
- KO 16:05
- Ground: Fedsure Park
Stormers v Sharks: Teams
At Newlands, Saturday July 28, Kick-off 16.05 BST
The Stormers will face the Sharks without influential number eight Duane Vermeulen in Saturday's Super Rugby semi-final at Newlands.
Coach Allister Coetzee has opted not to risk his star loose forward, who reportedly made it through a semi-contact session on Tuesday without any complaints.
However it means hooker Deon Fourie will once again wear the number eight jersey after packing down at the base of the scrum against the Rebels two weeks ago.
"Deon and Duane bring something different from each other, they are very different players, but we have confidence in Deon as this is a chance for him to show his versatility against a very mobile Sharks pack," said Coetzee.
"I said earlier in the week that Duane had improved, and he had.
"But I thought about it and just felt in the end that it was too much of a risk to play him when he isn't completely ready. He is improving all the time and there is a possibility he could be available after this, but we are not thinking further than this semi-final.
"This is a big game against a very good Sharks team and if we don't win it there won't be any matches after this one."
Whilst the unavailability of Vermeulen is a big blow for the hosts, the return of physical lock Eben Etzebeth will give Stormers' fans plenty to smile about.
Etzebeth has recovered from an ankle injury that has kept the young Springbok sidelined since Super Rugby resumed after the June break. He will partner veteran Andries Bekker in the second row, which sees De Kock Steenkamp dropping to the bench.
"Eben was actually ready for the Rebels game but De Kock Steenkamp was playing well and we felt we could continue with him against the Rebels," said Coetzee.
"It will serve to motivate Eben to play even harder to know that even though he is a Springbok, he needs to retain the form that made him a Springbok in order to play for the Stormers."
In the only other change to the side that struggled to see off the Rebels a fortnight ago, Brok Harris replaces Frans Malherbe up front.
The Sharks have been forced to make one change to their starting XV after centre Paul Jordaan was ruled out.
Jordaan - who was suffering with a troublesome hamstring injury - failed a late fitness test, and is replaced by Meyer Bosman who will wear the number 12 jersey with Tim Whitehead switching to outside centre.
Patrick Lambie was also in a race against time to recover from a recurring ankle injury, but will not be playing.
Last weekend's replacement scrum-half Cobus Reinach misses out as Sharks coach John Plumtree has chosen a five-two split on the bench, with Jean Deysel returning to the side to add extra firepower amongst the replacements.
The final change sees Riaan Viljoen named in Bosman's empty place.
Stormers: 15 Joe Pietersen, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Juan de Jongh, 12 Jean de Villiers, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Peter Grant, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Deon Fourie, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Tiaan Liebenberg, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Frans Malherbe, 17 Deon Carstens, 18 De Kock Steenkamp, 19 Don Armand, 20 Louis Schreuder, 21 Burton Francis, 22 Gerhard van den Heever.
Sharks: 15 Louis Ludik, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Tim Whitehead, 12 Meyer Bosman, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Frederic Michalak, 9 Charl McLeod, 8 Ryan Kankowski, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Keegan Daniel (c), 5 Anton Bresler, 4 Willem Alberts, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira.
Replacements: 16 Craig Burden, 17 Wiehahn Herbst, 18 Steven Sykes, 19 Jean Deysel, 20 Jacques Botes, 21 Odwa Ndungane, 22 Riaan Viljoen.
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|Waratahs 26 - 8 Brumbies|
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|Sharks 31 - 27 Highlanders|
|Brumbies 32 - 30 Chiefs|
|Saturday 12th July|
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|Stormers 16 - 0 Bulls|
|Western Force 30 - 20 Reds|
|Crusaders 21 - 13 Blues|
|Friday 4th July|
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|Chiefs 24 - 16 Hurricanes|
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|Friday 27th June|
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|Highlanders 29 - 25 Chiefs|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com