Stormers lack eight Springboks for showdown with Lions

Cape Town (AFP) –


South African franchise the Stormers will lack eight Springboks when they face the British and Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday (kick-off: 1600 GMT).

Forwards Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Marvin Orie and reigning Rugby World Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit miss out as they are training with the national squad.

Backs Herschel Jantjies and Damian Willemse are also with the Springboks, who will face the Lions in a three-Test series on consecutive Saturdays from July 24.

The best known Stormer is veteran centre Juan de Jongh, one of 12 players vying for eight places on the bench.

De Jongh, 33, won a bronze medal with the South African sevens team at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games and has played for English Premiership outfit Wasps.

Flanker Johan du Toit is a younger brother of Pieter-Steph and lock Ernst Rhyn will captain a team that has won twice and lost twice in the ongoing domestic Currie Cup competition, which they lead.

"Any match against the British and Irish Lions is a historic occasion and we will be doing everything we can to do justice to the magnitude of this game," said Stormers coach John Dobson.

"The team has been highly disciplined in our bubble this week and now it is about doing everything we can on the field for 80 minutes."

Stormers team (15-1)

Sergeal Petersen; Seabelo Senatla, Rikus Pretorius, Dan du Plessis, Edwill van der Merwe; Tim Swiel, Godlen Masimla; Evan Roos, Johan du Toit, Nama Xaba; JD Schickerling, Ernst van Rhyn (capt); Neethling Fouche, JJ Kotze, Leon Lyons

Replacements (from): Andre-Hugo Venter, Kwenzo Blose, Sazi Sandi, Justin Basson, Marcel Theunissen, Thomas Bursey, Abner van Reenen, Juan de Jongh, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Niel Otto, Leolin Zas, Cornel Smit

Coach: John Dobson (RSA)