Orie and Fourie return as only starting changes for Stormers

rugby26 May 2023 10:28
By:Gavin Rich
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Marvin Orie © Getty Images

Springbok Marvin Orie and Deon Fourie return as expected to the DHL Stormers starting line-up as the only changes for Saturday’s Vodacom United Rugby Championship final against Munster in Cape Town.

Head coach John Dobson took the wise route of being conservative with the two injury problems the Bok duo were struggling with and excluded them from the team that played the semifinal against Connacht. The decision has paid off with both players being fresh and ready for the main event of Saturday’s decider, which will be played in front of a crowd of 55 000.

Orie comes back in place of Ben-Jason Dixon in the second row, which means that Ruben van Heerden moves back to his more regular role since his arrival at the Stormers from Exeter Chiefs of playing No 4 lock, with Orie being restored in the No 5 jersey. Fourie comes in for Willie Engelbrecht.

Both Dixon and Engelbrecht will play off the bench in the final, with Dobson reverting to the usual six/two split between forwards and backs after going five/three for the semifinal. That means Jean-Luc du Plessis, who played off the bench last time after captaining Western Province against the Griffons in Welkom the night before, will confine his role this weekend to leading Province against the Lions in a crucial Currie Cup match at Athlone Stadium on Friday night.

Utility back Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu broke his hand playing Currie Cup last weekend so Clayton Blommetjies comes in as the outside back reserve, although it should be remembered that reserve scrumhalf Paul de Wet can play wing.

The other player who was on the bench for the Stormers against Connacht but will be confined to Currie Cup action this weekend is lock Conor Evans. Dixon can cover both second row and back row, with the make-up of the five forward group giving an indication that Dobson is putting an emphasis on introducing pace and attacking X-factor later in the game - Marcel Theunissen brings that as does Blommetjies.

DHL Stormers team: Damian Willemse, Angelo Davids, Ruhan Nel, Dan du Plessis, Leolin Zas, Manie Libbok, Herschel Jantjies, Evan Roos, Hacjivah Dayimani, Deon Fourie, Marvin Orie, Ruben van Heerden, Frans Malherbe, Joseph Dweba, Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: JJ Kotze, Ali Vermaak, Neethling Fouche, Ben-Jason Dixon, Willie Engelbrecht, Marcel Theunissen, Paul de Wet, Clayton Blommetjies.