Super Rugby preview: Stormers host the Waratahs at Newlands Stadium on Saturday

Last Updated: 05/04/14 12:40pm

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The Waratahs will face the Stormers in Cape Town this Saturday without the services of try-scoring superstar full-back Israel Folau.

Folau was rated 50-50 to take part in Saturday's game at Newlands after a blow to the throat two weeks ago in the Waratahs' win over the Rebels.

The Australian international consequently missed last weekend's loss to the Sharks in Durban, but there had been hope that he would play some part against the struggling Stormers.

That will now not be the case, with Kurtley Beale reverting to full-back and swapping with Jono Lance, who moves to inside centre.

Following a tackle from Fran Steyn, Beale has recovered from a minor case of whiplash to wear No 15 for the first time in 2014.

With Rob Horne suspended, Alofa Alofa returns to the team on the right wing, partnering Peter Betham who remains on the left.

With Wycliff Palu ruled out with an ankle injury suffered in the loss to the Sharks in Durban, coach Michael Cheika has been forced to reshuffle his back row.

Captain Dave Dennis has been moved to number eight and Jacques Potgieter finds himself in his favourite spot in the back row.

With Potgieter out of the tight five, man mountain Will Skelton gets his chance and will start at lock alongside Kane Douglas.

Cheika has stuck solid with the front row of Benn Robinson at loosehead, Sekope Kepu at tighthead and Tatafu Polota Nau at hooker.

The halves are untouched with Nick Phipps and Bernard Foley in the playmaker roles.

Vermeulen skippers

For the Stormers, No 8 Duane Vermeulen will captain the side in Saturday's clash in the absence of regular skipper Jean de Villiers, who will sit out this week with a meniscal cyst.

Damian de Allende starts in place of de Villiers at inside centre and Kobus van Wyk will take De Allende's place in the No 14 jersey.

Jaco Taute starts at full-back in place of the injured Gio Aplon and Michael van der Spuy moves onto the bench, having last featured against the Lions in February.

Up front, meanwhile, the fit-again Ruan Botha (ankle) takes the place of Jurie van Vuuren at number four lock in the only change to the pack this week, with Tazz Fuzani (on the bench) the only uncapped member of the match-day 23.

Coetzee paid tribute to incoming skipper Vermeulen, who was a consistent performer for the team on their four-match tour of New Zealand and Australia.

"It's scary to think that Duane is just 27 years old, yet he has already played 68 matches for the Stormers and he continues to get better as a player and a leader," he told the Stormers' official website.

"Players like Duane are the future of this union and it's an exciting opportunity for him to lead the team as we look to get back to winning ways now that we're back at home at Newlands."

You can see all the action from Newlands Stadium as the Stormers take on the Waratahs live on Sky Sports Xtra from 6.10pm.

Stormers: 15 Taute, 14 van Wyk, 13 de Jongh, 12 de Allende, 11 Tagicakibau, 10 Grant, 9 Schreuder; 1 Kitshoff, 2 Fourie, 3 Malherbe, 4 Botha, 5 Rhodes, 6 Carr, 7 Kolisi, 8 Vermeulen (capt).
Replacements: 16 Coetzee, 17 Kebble, 18 Harris, 19 Fuzani, 20 Notshe, 21 Groom, 22 Catrakilis, 23 van der Spuy.

Waratahs: 15 Beale, 14 Alofa, 13 Ashley-Cooper, 12 Lance, 11 Betham, 10 Foley, 9 Phipps; 1 Robinson, 2 Polota-Nau, 3 Kepu, 4 Skelton, 5 Douglas, 6 Potgeiter, 7 Hooper, 8 Dennis (capt).
Replacements: TBC

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