John Dobson at ease with his Stormers to face the Lions
Coach forced to make changes to his side for big Ellis Park match but says he is 'not too concerned'
As expected, Herschel Jantjies has dropped out of the Stormers’ starting team for Saturday’s Super Rugby clash against the Lions at Ellis Park.
Jantjies dropped out as a result of a sternum injury after coach John Dobson initially intended playing the World Cup-winning Springbok off the bench.
“We know in terms of SA Rugby protocol he can’t start every game. We have to build capacity‚” Dobson said.
Jantjies makes way for Godlen Masimla, who gets his first start of the campaign. No 8 Juarno Augustus and tight head Wilco Louw also crack the nod for the first time in the starting team in this campaign.
Augustus‚ a barrel-chested gainline marauder, will be a handful when he goes on the charge at Ellis Park. Louw, who will swap places with Frans Malherbe, will bring a great deal of immovability to the Stormers scrum.
It is an area in which the Stormers are keen to deepen the Lions’ woes.
Augustus replaces Jaco Coetzee, and Johan du Toit moves from No 8 to flank where he will partner brother Pieter-Steph.
“He’s one of our top loose forwards. He’s got real X-factor. He plays similarly to Jaco Coetzee. When Jaco Coetzee got injured it was a no brainer‚” said Dobson about Augustus.
Like the Lions‚ the Stormers have again opted for a six-two split on their bench. Many of the early exchanges are likely to be brutal, but that is not to say it will not be later in the game‚ as the Lions have included the hulking Willem Alberts on their bench.
Dobson believes the Stormers will have the man nicknamed the “bone collector” covered.
“He’s obviously a great forward and a great Springbok, but this competition takes you a few weeks to get into it. It will take some adaptation, and I’m sure they’ll try to ease him to make a big impact.
“Coming off the bench he is also going to be met by Messrs [Frans] Malherbe‚ [JD] Schickerling and [Cobus] Wiese.
“I’m not too concerned‚” said Dobson.
Stormers: Dillyn Leyds; Sergeal Petersen‚ Ruhan Nel‚ Jamie Roberts‚ Seabelo Senatla; Damian Willemse‚ Godlen Masimla; Juarno Augustus‚ Pieter-Steph du Toit‚ Johan du Toit; Chris van Zyl‚ Salmaan Moerat; Wilco Louw‚ Scarra Ntubeni‚ Steven Kitshoff (capt). Replacements: Chad Solomon‚ Ali Vermaak‚ Frans Malherbe‚ JD Schickerling‚ Cobus Wiese‚ Ernst van Rhyn; Paul de Wet‚ Jean-Luc du Plessis