Stormers captain Schalk Burger has been ruled out of his team's opening Super Rugby clash against the Bulls at Loftus Versfeld on Friday.
Springbok skipper Jean de Villiers will lead the team into battle in the absence of Burger, who has not recovered from the calf muscle injury that hampered him in pre-season.
Burger will miss at least the first three rounds of the competition - which features matches against the Bulls (away), Sharks (away) and Chiefs (at home) - and is expect to return after the bye week in mid-March.
There are first Stormers Super Rugby starts for new recruits Jaco Taute, Elton Jantjies and Pat Cilliers.
Twenty-one-year-old centre Damian de Allende, who started in the 2012 Currie Cup Final, will get his first-ever taste of Super Rugby action, whilst, on the bench, Nizaam Carr (knee) and Dewaldt Duvenage (broken leg) make their returns are spending some time on the sidelines last year.
Reserve hooker Martin Bezuidenhout will be hoping for his first official game time in a Stormers jersey after featuring in pre-season games against the Cheetahs and Boland, whilst Springbok lock Andries Bekker will play in his 95th Super Rugby match for the Stormers.
More to follow...
Stormers: 15 Jaco Taute, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jean de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Nic Groom, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Rynhardt Elstadt, 6 Siya Kolisi, 5 Andries Bekker, 4 De Kock Steenkamp, 3 Pat Cilliers, 2 Deon Fourie, 1 Steven Kitshoff.
Replacements: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Frans Malherbe, 18 Don Armand, 19 Nizaam Carr, 20 Dewaldt Duvenage, 21 Gerhard van den Heever, 22 Joe Pietersen.
Date: Friday, February 22
Venue: Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria
Kick-off: 19.10 (17.10 GMT)
Referee: Jaco Peyper (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Rasta Rashivenga (South Africa), Stefan Breytenbach (South Africa)
TMO: Johan Greeff (South Africa)
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