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Stormers out to slay Dragons in Gqeberha

The Stormers will move into the top two in the United Rugby Championship standings this weekend should they pick up a win against the Dragons in Gqeberha on Saturday and other results go their way.

As things stand, the Stormers are fourth with 29 points from five wins from seven games.

Ahead of them on the log are the Bulls (third, 29), Ulster (second, 30) and Leinster (first, 38).

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A win for John Dobson’s men, who are also the defending champions, in Gqeberha would get the Stormers into the top two and they’ll be backing themselves to achieve just that against the Dragons.

The Stormers will be confident after powering past the Scarlets, another Welsh side, in Cape Town last weekend following the international break, and they’re also boosted by the return of a few key players this week.

Springbok tourists Salmaan Moerat, who’ll captain the side, Manie Libbok, Deon Fourie, Marvin Orie and Joseph Dweba are all back in the mix.

SA A players Leolin Zas, Herschel Jantjies and JJ Kotze are also in the side this week, while Ruhan Nel is also back after time out of the game. Wing Tristan Leyds will also make his first appearance of the season.

No Kitshoff, Malherbe, Willemse

The Stormers regulars this year who won’t feature against the visitors from Wales include props Steven Kitshoff and Fran Malherbe, utility back Damian Willemse and the injured duo of Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu and Evan Roos.

Libbok especially, who was in such good form before the international break and made his Bok debut last month, will no doubt be brimming with confidence and should be a key player in this match.

Coach John Dobson said he and his players were excited about playing in front of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium crowd for the first time in the URC.

“We know that the people of Gqeberha have plenty of passion for our team, so we can’t wait to get out there and experience the atmosphere,” said Dobson.

“There have been a number of changes to the team and we are excited to see how the players coming in make an impact on Saturday.”

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