Captain Siya Kolisi and his team are on a mission to say goodbye to Newlands, and perhaps Super Rugby, in style.
And they will do so by hunting down every competitor that crosses their path in this year’s Super Rugby Unlocked competition.
With the Lions coming to town in the Stormers’ first match at the famous ground tomorrow, Kolisi says they’ve made a pact to fight tooth and nail for the trophy – not only for themselves but for ex-players and fans as well.
This will be the last few months that the Stormers will run out at the home of Cape rugby – with the team moving to Cape Town Stadium next term.
Added to this, the South Africa Rugby Union (Saru) is exploring the option of playing franchise rugby in the UK – which will mean the end of SA’s participation in Super Rugby.
If it is indeed their last Super tournament, Kolisi wants to make it an unforgettable one.
Never having tasted success since 1996, with their best performance being an appearance in the final in 2010, their captain says the time for excuses is lankal verby.
Kolisi explains: “Sometimes things won’t go our way, but we still have the same mission – which is to give our best to win this competition. Not just for us, but for everything that we went through and the people that were here before us.
“I think we’ve let our fans down – almost every single year. So we want to make sure that we finish strong… we talk about it openly because you can’t hide from it. We have to do something about it – rectify it.
“There’s no excuse anymore to say we didn’t achieve this because of this and that, it’s about making sure that we’re all in this to win it.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s good rugby or not, winning is all we care about now.”
Meanwhile, the captain will lead a starting XV including no fewer than seven Springboks.
Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Rikus Pretorius, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Ernst van Rhyn, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Neethling Fouche, 19 Chris van Zyl, 20 Nama Xaba, 21 Paul de Wet, 22 Michal Haznar, 23 Tim Swiel.