Dylan Smith to run out in 50th Super Rugby game

Emirates Lions prop Dylan Smith is in the lineup facing DHL Stormers at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday
Emirates Lions prop Dylan Smith is in the lineup facing DHL Stormers at Emirates Airline Park on Saturday

Emirates Lions prop Dylan Smith will run out in his 50th Vodacom Super Rugby game on Saturday when they host the DHL Stormers at Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg from 3.05pm (live on SS1).

The burly prop made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut in 2016 and has scored two tries in the red and white jersey.

In the only change to the Highvelders’ starting line-up, Manuel Rass comes in at centre in place of Duncan Matthews, while Springbok loose forward Willem Alberts has been named on the bench.

There are four changes to the DHL Stormers starting line-up, with Godlen Masimla (scrumhalf), Juarno Augustus (No 8) and Wilco Louw (prop) all set to make their first starts of the season in the SA derby.

Masimla and Augustus come in for the injured Herschel Jantjies and Jaco Coetzee respectively, with Johan du Toit shifting to flank from the back of the scrum.

DHL Stormers centurion Frans Malherbe is among the replacements, who include a fit-again JD Schickerling and Paul de Wet (scrumhalf), who is set to make his first appearance of the season.

The Pride of Jozi have won five of their last six clashes with the Cape side (L1), after having won only one of their first 13 meetings in the competition (D1, L11).

The DHL Stormers have won only one of their last six Vodacom Super Rugby away matches against fellow SA sides (L5), a tight five-point win over the Cell C Sharks in March 2019.

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson said his team faced a serious challenge if they were to maintain their winning start to the season:

“It is always a tough assignment to travel up to Johannesburg, but it is a challenge that the team has really embraced this week.

“We have made a solid start to the season at home, but we need to back that up with good performances away from home and that starts this weekend against the Emirates Lions.”

Meanwhile, the Cell C Sharks, who like the DHL Stormers will be chasing a hat-trick of Vodacom Super Rugby wins for 2020 this weekend, have made just one change to their starting line-up for their Saturday morning clash with the Hurricanes in Wellington.

The Vodacom Super Rugby third round encounter at the Sky Stadium in Wellington starts at 8.05am (SA time) and will be televised live on SuperSport 1.

Former Junior Springbok flyhalf Boeta Chamberlain comes in at flyhalf in place of Springbok Curwin Bosch, who has returned to SA because of a family bereavement.

The 20-year-old Chamberlain showed some deft touches in his Vodacom Super Hero Sunday cameo against the DHL Stormers a few weeks ago and is set to make his full debut.

The rest of the starting line-up who beat the Highlanders so convincingly in Dunedin last week stays.