Both Teams Will Be Looking For Their First Win At DHL Cape Town Stadium


London Irish are looking for their first win of this year’s Heineken Champions Cup as they travel to South Africa to take on the DHL Stormers on Saturday.

Irish fell 32-27 at home to Montpellier Hérault Rugby in Round 1, while DHL Stormers remain in the hunt for their maiden victory in the competition after they lost 24-14 at ASM Clermont Auvergne.

The South African side may have let an 11-point lead slip at Stade Marcel-Michelin, but they are a very different prospect at home, having won all 15 of their last home fixtures in all competitions.

Prediction: Stormers by 12

Springbok forwards Frans Malherbe and Marvin Orie have been included in the DHL Stormers team.

There are five changes in total for the DHL Stormers’ first home game in the prestigious competition, which kicks off at 19h30 on Saturday.

Willie Engelbrecht comes in at blindside flank for the injured Ernst van Rhyn, while in the backline scrumhalf Paul de Wet and wing Angelo Davids will both start after featuring among the replacements last week.

Davids is in for Alapati Leuia, who has been ruled out with a minor injury, while Dan du Plessis has also been given a further week to recover, with Damian Willemse continuing at inside centre.

Herschel Jantjies is one of two backs on the replacements bench and will earn his 50th DHL Stormers cap when he comes on.

DHL Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that his team appreciate how important it is to win your home games in this competition.

“This is a very big game for us, apart from it being our first home game in the Heineken Champions Cup and historic from that point of view.

“It has been some time since we played at DHL Stadium and the team is looking forward to getting out there and making the most of it,” he said.

Dobson paid tribute to scrumhalf Jantjies ahead of his milestone of 50 games.

“Herschel loves this team and at 26 still has many games for the DHL Stormers ahead of him. It’s a great achievement and he can be proud of what he has done in a DHL Stormers jersey over the last four seasons,” he said.

The DHL Stormers coach added that having the likes of Malherbe and Orie coming in is ideal.

“Frans was just nominated as SA Rugby Player of the Year, he and Marvin will bring a level of calm and composure in our set-pieces and in general play. They will have an impact on the players around them that should lift the team for a big performance,” he said.

London Irish’s Rob Simmons said “South Africa has entered the competition this year, so that poses a whole different logistical challenge for clubs because traditionally an English club going to France is three to five days, but going down there (South Africa) for a week is a whole different culture.


Stormers: 15. Clayton Blommetjies, 14. Angelo Davids, 13. Ruhan Nel, 12. Damian Willemse, 11. Leolin Zas, 10. Manie Libbok, 9. Paul de Wet, 8. Hacjivah Dayimani, 7. Willie Engelbrecht, 6. Deon Fourie, 5. Marvin Orie, 4. Salmaan Moerat, 3. Frans Malherbe, 2. Joseph Dweba, 1. Steven Kitshoff (c). Replacements: 16. Jean-Jacques Kotze, 17. Brok Harris, 18. Sazi Sandi, 19. Connor Evans, 20. Junior Pokomela, 21. Marcel Theunissen, 22. Herschel Jantjies, 23. Suleiman Hartzenberg.

London Irish: 15. Ben Loader, 14. Lucio Cinti Luna, 13. Luca Morisi, 12. Benhard Janse van Rensburg, 11. Ollie Hassell-Collins, 10. Paddy Jackson, 9. Joe Powell, 8. Josh Basham, 7. Tom Pearson, 6. Matt Rogerson (c), 5. Adam Coleman, 4. Rob Simmons, 3. Lovejoy Chawatama, 2. Mike Willemse, 1. Will Goodrick-Clarke. Replacements: 16. Ignacio Ruiz, 17. Facundo Gigena, 18. Ollie Hoskins, 19. Api Ratuniyarawa, 20. Chandler Cunningham-South, 21. Ben White, 22. Rory Jennings, 23. Will Joseph.