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 South African 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, which 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 South African sides (L5), a tight five-point win over the Cell C Sharks (2 March 2019).

What they said:

Emirates Lions prop Dylan Smith, who will make his 50th appearance on Saturday, was a proud man: “This milestone represents a lot of hard work for me. I have come through a few injuries and set-backs over the years and I am just grateful to have got to 50 caps for the Lions.”

DHL Stormers head coach John Dobson said his team face a serious challenge if they are 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.”

The teams:

Emirates Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 Tyrone Green, 13 Manuel Rass, 12 Dan Kriel, 11 Courtnall Skosan, 10 Elton Jantjies (captain), 9 Morne van den Berg, 8 Len Massyn, 7 Vincent Tshituka, 6 Marnus Schoeman, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Ruben Schoeman, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Pieter Jansen, 1 Dylan Smith. Replacements: 16 Jan-Henning Campher, 17 Sti Sithole, 18 Carlu Sadie, 19 Wilhelm van der Sluys, 20 Willem Alberts, 21 Hacjivah Dayimani, 22 Dillon Smit, 23 Wandisile Simelane.

DHL Stormers: 15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Ruhan Nel, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Seabelo Senatla, 10 Damian Willemse, 9 Godlen Masimla, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Johan du Toit, 5 Chris van Zyl, 4 Salmaan Moerat, 3 Wilco Louw, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff (captain). Replacements: 16 Chad Solomon, 17 Ali Vermaak, 18 Frans Malherbe, 19 JD Schickerling, 20 Cobus Wiese, 21 Ernst van Rhyn, 22 Paul de Wet, 23 Jean-Luc du Plessis.


Head to head:

Played: 19

Emirates Lions won: 6

DHL Stormers won: 12

Drawn: 1

Emirates Lions points: 415

DHL Stormers points: 465

Average score: 22-24


Match information:

Venue: Emirates Airline Park, Johannesburg

Date: Saturday 15 February

SA time: 15h05

Referee: Jaco Peyper

Assistant referees: Marius van der Westhuizen, Rasta Rasivhenge

TMO: Willie Vos