x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Stormers bring in four against Force

Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his Stormers team to take on the Western Force in their Super 14 rugby encounter.

Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his Stormers team to take on the Western Force in their Super 14 encounter in Perth tomorrow. The Cape Town side, who had a bye last weekend following their 21-8 victory over the Cheetahs, have been struck by injuries ahead of their overseas leg with their key pair of Joe Pietersen and Wicus Blaauw ruled out. That means winger Sireli Naqelevuki has been handed a starting role for the clash against the bottom-placed Australian side, with Gio Aplon switching to fullback.

Blaauw's place at prop goes to JC Kritzinger. The other two changes see scrum-half Dewalt Duvenage and lock Anton van Zyl drop out in favour of Ricky Januarie and De Kok Steenkamp. Coetzee, whose side will be looking to maintain their second place in the standings, said: "We have had to make some enforced changes due to injuries sustained in the Cheetahs match. "An important tour lies ahead. We are well positioned and would like to capitalise on our momentum. Our focus as always, however, will be solely on our next game.

"The Force were good against the Bulls and there is no doubt that we will face a team that is hungry for a win in front of their home crowd. "There are no easy games in this competition and we will need to have the same intensity we showed earlier in the competition if we are to succeed." The Western Force will be without winger Nick Cummins for the game and also next week's match at Highlanders after the club's attempt to have his suspension for a dangerous tackle overturned was dismissed by the appeals committee.

Cummins was suspended after being cited for the incident, which happened in the 71st minute of their defeat against the Bulls last Saturday night. The Force though will have David Pocock and Richard Brown both back from injury for the game. * With agencies