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Fleck makes a host of changes to team to face in-form Rebels in Melbourne


The Stormers have somewhat lost their way in New Zealand and Australia

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IT has been a long three weeks for the Stormers, but they have one final opportunity to rescue something from their tour of Australasia tomorrow then face the in-form Rebels in Melbourne.

The Stormers, after a positive start to the season bar the opener at Loftus, have somewhat lost their way in New Zealand and Australia. A host of injuries have further increased the pressure on a team struggling with its execution, while equally they seem undecided on how exactly they want to play.

They have moved from a forward-based game plan to shifting the ball to the wide channels with only a losing bonus point against the Hurricanes in their tour opener to show for their troubles so far. The Rebels, meanwhile, are running like a steam train forging ahead through their exciting and hard-running backs who have powered them to the top of the Australian conference.

Fleck has once again been forced to make a host of changes – six this week – due to injuries and further external factors, with the most notable seeing loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff being entrusted with the leadership duties in the absence of regular captain Siya Kolisi.

“Steven has been part of our leadership group since he returned from France. Much like Pieter-Steph (du Toit), he is a very quiet leader, leads by example in the way he trains and the way he plays. He is very well respected within the group,” Fleck said of the new Stormers skipper.

The only change to the backline is the return of Herschel Jantjies at scrumhalf for Justin Phillips.

Stormers (15-1): Damian Willemse, Sergeal Petersen, Ruhan Nel, Damian de Allende, Dillyn Leyds, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Herschel Jantjies, Jaco Coetzee, Kobus van Dyk, Ernst van Rhyn, Cobus Wiese, Salmaan Moerat, Wilco Louw, Bongi Mbonambi, Steven Kitshoff (c). Bench: Scarra Ntubeni, Corné Fourie, Frans Malherbe, Johan du Toit, Juarno Augustus, Justin Phillips, Joshua Stander, Seabelo Senatla.

Zaahier Adams