Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK
Rugby ball. Picture: THINKSTOCK

The Stormers may know him intimately but that cuts both ways‚ says Lions scrumhalf Nic Groom ahead of the teams’ Super Rugby clash on Saturday at Newlands.

As much as the Stormers’ familiarity with him could make him a target‚ Groom believes he has added to his arsenal since they last saw him.

"I know a lot of them really well and we come a long way‚" said Groom.

"I spent six‚ seven seasons there. Maybe there might be one or two things that they know about me, but on the other side I’ve changed a lot over the last two years. There are a lot of things I can do now that I couldn’t do when I was there."

The scrumhalf expects the Stormers to bounce back following their defeat to the Sunwolves in Hong Kong. Besides‚ derbies tend to get the blood flowing‚ if not boiling.

"It doesn’t matter the circumstances‚ when South African teams play each other there is a lot more emotion and it is a lot more personal.

"I would rather they had beaten the Sunwolves last week. This competition has shown that teams bounce back at home.

"The Stormers are notorious for that. They will be revved up‚" said Groom.

The Lions’ selection merry-go-round is still in full swing, with coach Swys de Bruin making seven changes to his starting line-up for the Newlands match.

De Bruin has favoured a rotation policy with fullback Andries Coetzee‚ flyhalf Elton Jantjies and utility forward Franco Mostert as his only regular starters this season.

Interestingly‚ De Bruin has opted to include flank Marnus Schoeman and loosie Kwagga Smith in the starting team, having previously expressed reservations about their lack of height at the line-out.

"We’ve got Franco, who is a Springbok, and we have Lourens [Erasmus], who is quite tall as well‚" said lock Marvin Orie. "We’ve been putting in the work. Hopefully, we can put them under pressure."

Stormers coach Robbie Fleck has reshuffled his pack to face the Lions.

Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit has not recovered from flu and Jan de Klerk is in the starting line-up. No8 Sikhumbuzo Notshe starts in what will be his 50th appearance for the Stormers, which could precede his inclusion in the first Springbok squad of the year on Saturday night.

Captain Siya Kolisi was adamant his side would be in the game to win, despite having almost no chance of making the play-offs after eight defeats in 13 matches. Last week’s defeat to the Sunwolves effectively ended their campaign.

"Our only focus is on this game because we can’t think about what other teams might or might not do‚" Kolisi said. "We are not wasting energy on that. We want to finish strong by winning our last three games. That’s all we can do."

Bok hooker Bongi Mbonambi makes a timely return to the squad following surgery for a burst appendix 10 weeks ago. He has a chance to reclaim his place in the Bok squad by proving his fitness this weekend.

Wing Seabelo Senatla has rejoined the Springboks sevens team and will miss this weekend’s match, with Raymond Rhule back into the starting lineup and Craig Barry moving to the bench.

TimesLIVE

Please sign in or register to comment.