Gary Porter in action for UCT at the 2019 Varsity Cup. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
To close gary porter will do his storms URC debut when they face the Welsh team scarlet at the Cape Town Stadium on Friday night.
Porter, 26, signed a contract with the Stormers in August after a season at the Ealing Trailfinders in the English RFU Championship.
Porter joined the Western Province Rugby Institute straight out of school before representing the Ikey Tigers in the Varsity Cup, while earning a degree in psychology.
Also making their first starts of the season are center Cornel Smit, fly half Kade Wolhuter and flank Marcel Theunissen, while Leon Lyons, Connor Evans and Jean-Luc du Plessis all come on the bench.
Ernst van Rhyn will captain the Stormers, packing in the second row alongside Porter. Elsewhere in the group, Leolin Zas, Joseph Dweba, Sazi Sandi, JJ Kotze and Herschel Jantjies return from their national duties.
15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Cornel Smit, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Kade Wolhuter, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Hacjivah Dayimani, 7 Marcel Theunissen, 6 Junior Pokomela, 5 Gary Porter, 4 Ernst van Rhyn (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Joseph Dweba, 1 Ali Vermaak
Substitutes: 16 JJ Kotze, 17 Leon Lyons, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Connor Evans, 20 Ben-Jason Dixon, 21 Nama Xaba, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis
Stormer Trainer john dobson he said the players were looking forward to making their mark after a period of rest.
“The players who have the opportunity this week have been training incredibly hard all season and are determined to make the most of this game.
“We’re pleased with the depth we’ve built already this season and this is also a team that has a lot of experience in key positions, so we’re excited to see how they do,” he said.
With eight players in the Springbok squad unavailable, Dobson said the match presents a perfect opportunity to build capacity in a demanding season.
“This selection is part of a clear strategy to prepare ourselves to be competitive in the different competitions in which we participate this season.
“We have an exciting young generation of young players coming through and it will be a great challenge for them against a team that has almost 300 Test matches, but we are looking forward to it,” he said.
The Stormers sit fourth in the URC standings with four wins from six games, while the Scarlets sit 15th with just one win from seven games.
Friday’s game starts at 19:00.