Stormers make four changes

The Stormers will take on the Crusaders on Saturday.

Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. Picture: Aletta Gardner/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Stormers will be without injured forwards Rynhardt Elstadt and Siya Kolisi for Saturday's game against the Crusaders in Christchurch.

Coach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting line-up, with De Kock Steenkamp, Schalk Burger, Nic Groom and Michael Rhodes drafted into the starting fifteen. Elstadt, Kolisi, Louis Schreuder and Manuel Carizza are the players dropping out.

Elstadt has been ruled out of action for four to six weeks with a shoulder injury, while Kolisi has been given the week off and will be back in contention for next weekend.

Coetzee confirmed that Elstadt will be replaced in the Stormers touring party by utility forward Jurie van Vuuren.

"Rynhardt will see his specialist when he returns back home to Cape Town. It's the same shoulder he had an operation on last year, and the specialist here said it's quite badly inflamed. He will be out of action for four to six weeks and, for that reason, we have called up Jurie van Vuuren, who was part of the WP under-21 side last year and can, like Rynhardt, play at number seven (flank) and number 4 (lock)."

Coetzee added that the Stormers are taking advantage of their wealth of options at loose forward by giving Kolisi a much needed rest this weekend.

"We're fortunate to be able to rest Siya (at loose forward), where we have more depth, so hopefully this week off will see his AC Joint in a better condition next week."

Peter Grant joined up with the Stormers camp from Japan this week, and will take spot on the bench along with Sailosi Tagicakibau, who joined the Stormers from London Irish last week.

According to Coetzee, the giant Samoan winger has been well received by the rest of the squad.

"Losi (Tagicakibau) has fitted in very well - in the change room after the Hurricanes match and in the gym this week. We're looking forward to him making an impact in our first full session tomorrow and come Saturday against the Crusaders."

Coetzee is also pleased with Peter Grant's return to the squad.

"It's also good to have Peter Grant back. He's hungry to play again, after missing the majority of last year's campaign and having not played a lot in Japan. He's a good team man and will slot in well as always given his experience and standing in our environment."

The Stormers team to face the Crusaders on Saturday: Jaco Taute, Kobus van Wyk, Jean de Villiers, Damian de Allende, Gio Aplon, Demetri Catrakilis, Nic Groom, Duane Vermeulen, Schalk Burger, Deon Fourie, De Kock Steenkamp, Michael Rhodes, Frans Malherbe, Scarra Ntubeni, Steven Kitshoff.

Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Oliver Kebble, Pat Cilliers, Ruan Botha, Nizaam Carr, Louis Schreuder, Peter Grant, Sailosi Tagicakibau.