LEADERSHIP: Chris van Zyl. Photo: Samuel Shivambu,/BackpagePix

Hunting their first away win of the season against the Sunwolves in Hong Kong, it will be lock Chris van Zyl that will lead the Stormers pack into battle at 7.35am on Saturday. 

This as coach Robbie Fleck decided to rest regular alpha Siya Kolisi, with Cobus Wiese taking his place at the side of the scrum. 

Kolisi won’t be the only Springbok missing in the Stormers pack as prop Steven Kitshoff was also ruled out of the encounter after suffering a stomach strain in training on Monday. 

His position will be taken by JC Janse van Rensburg, while Nizaam Carr also returns to the starting XV in place of Sikhumbuzo Notshe as the Stormers prepare for a tactical test against coach Jamie Joseph’s hosts.

ADDING NEW ENERGY: Springbok Siya Kolisi. Photo: Samuel Shivambu,/BackpagePix

Among the backs, Jean-Luc du Plessis comes in at flyhalf as expected – taking the place of Damian Willemse, who is on national duty with the U20 side. 

Of Du Plessis’ return, Fleck says: “We’re excited to see how he goes. He is a commanding presence at training and has a smart rugby brain.” 

Ex-Sevens speedster Seabelo Senatla also makes a welcome return to the wing in place of Springbok Raymond Rhule.  

Fleck, meanwhile, admits that the humidity in Hong Kong, where temperatures are expected to reach a high of 31 degrees when they play at 1pm local time, will play a big role. 

Of the conditions, Fleck says: “It is more extreme [than we expected].

“The bench will play a major role and they will probably come on early. 

“We’ve got two quick loosies [Kolisi and Notshe] coming on and it’s going to be a real tactical game from both sides.”  

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