Champions Cup – Two Rugby Giants To Clash At Cape Town Stadium


The DHL Stormers will be looking to make it two wins this season against Stade Rochelais, the defending champions when action gets underway at 16:00 (SA Time) on Saturday in this Investec Champions Cup knock-out match.

The DHL Stormers hold a 100% home win record this season, while they also boast three wins in the competition to Stade Rochelais’ two.

While the Capetonians will be wary of the fact that they will be facing the two-time defending champions, they will have the extra motivation of knowing that they beat the French outfit in the pool stages.

It was, however, a hard grind of a match with the Capetonians winning 21-20, and with a place in the quarter-final at stake this weekend, this encounter could prove to be another tight affair, especially as Stade Rochelais will have a third consecutive title in their sights.

The French giants have arrived in Cape Town in fifth place on the Top 14 standings, only one point behind third-placed Racing 92, while the DHL Stormers have won their last two Vodacom URC encounters, both at home.

Experienced flank Deon Fourie will make his return from injury in one of four changes to the DHL Stormers' starting XV for the Investec Round of 16 clash with Stade Rochelais at DHL Stadium on Saturday.

There is just one change to the backline that started in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship win against Ulster last week as Herschel Jantjies starts at scrumhalf, with hooker Joseph Dweba and flank Ben-Jason Dixon included along with the fit-again Fourie in the changes up front.

As a result loose forward Hacjivah Dayimani and scrumhalf Paul de Wet will provide impact in the second half from the replacements bench.

DHL Stormers Director of Rugby John Dobson said that his team is looking forward to what should be a great occasion at DHL Stadium as they take on the two-time champions.

“A home knock-out match in the Investec Champions Cup is a great achievement in itself, especially considering the quality of teams we faced in our pool matches.

“We want to make the most of the opportunity to play at DHL Stadium in front of our fans. There should be an incredible atmosphere if the last two weeks are anything to go by.

“We are very happy to have Deon back in the mix and this promises to be a heavyweight clash against one of the best teams around,” he said.


DHL Stormers: 15 Warrick Gelant, 14 Suleiman Hartzenberg, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian Willemse, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Ben-Jason Dixon, 6 Deon Fourie, 5 Ruben van Heerden, 4 Salmaan Moerat (c), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Brok Harris. Replacements: 16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Hacjivah Dayimani, 21 Marcel Theunissen, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Ben Loader.

La Rochelle: 15 Brice Dulin, 14 Teddy Thomas, 13 Ulupano Seuteni, 12 Jonathan Danty, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Antoine Hastoy, 9 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 8 Grégory Alldritt (captain), 7 Levani Botia, 6 Judicaël Cancoriet, 5 Will Skelton, 4 Ultan Dillane, 3 Uini Atonio, 2 Tolu Latu, 1 Louis Penverne.
Replacements: 16 Quentin Lespiaucq, 17 Alexandre Kaddouri, 18 Joel Sclavi, 19 Thomas Lavault, 20 Paul Boudehent, 21 Yoan Tanga, 22 Teddy Iribaren, 23 Ihaia West.