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Eben Etzebeth returns to Stormers XV for Blues clash

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck has made six changes to his starting line-up for their encounter with the Blues in Auckland on Saturday.

There are three changes to the backline and three in the forwards. There are two rotational switches up front, with Jaco Coetzee at number eight and Wilco Louw at tighthead prop, while a fit-again Eben Etzebeth comes into the second-row in place of the injured JD Schickerling.

As a result utility forward Cobus Wiese will be among the replacements.

In the backs, Damian Willemse comes in at full-back, with Dillyn Leyds shifting to the left wing and Dan du Plessis returns at outside centre.

Fly-half Josh Stander comes onto the replacements bench.

Following feedback from a specialist, Schickerling has returned to Cape Town to recover from a shoulder injury and is expected to be out for three weeks.

Loose forward Kobus van Dyk has joined the squad in his place. Lock Salmaan Moerat is not available this weekend due to concussion sustained against the Hurricanes, but is expected to be fit next week.

Fleck said that his team is determined to be as clinical as possible in Auckland.

"We have got great energy among the group and the players are all keen to get out there and show what we are capable of, so we are looking forward to it.

"It will be important for us to be composed and focused as we look to keep improving and building our game," he said.

Stormers: 15 Damian Willemse, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Dillyn Leyds, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Jaco Coetzee, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (c), 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Scarra Ntubeni, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Juarno Augustus, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Joshua Stander, 23 SP Marais

Date: Saturday, March 30

Venue: Eden Park, Auckland

Kick-off: 19.35 local (06:35 GMT)

Referee: Nick Briant (New Zealand)

Assistant referees: Glen Jackson (New Zealand), Federico Anselmi (Argentina)

TMO: Ben Skeen (New Zealand)

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