Juarno “Trokkie” Augustus starts his first match of the season for the Stormers when they tackle the Jaguares at Newlands on Friday night (7.10pm).
Having suffered an ankle injury in the final Super Rugby warmup match against Boland, Augustus had to watch from the sidelines as Sikhumbuzo Notshe and Jaco Coetzee wore the Stormers’ No.8 jumper in their first three matches of the season.
But he is ready to be unleashed against the visiting Argentinians tomorrow night and coach Robbie Fleck believes he is in the shape of his life.
Having suffered from injury during his short Stormers career to date, Fleck says Trokkie is ready to go after his latest service.
Fleck explains: “This is probably the fittest we’ve seen him.
“He had a very good pre-season and was unfortunate against Boland in the last minute.
“He’s been working incredibly hard on his conditioning. He used to have some back issues, but hopefully, that’s gone now.
“If we remember back against the Bulls he was outstanding.
“We are very excited to see what he can do”
Trokkie coming in for Coetzee is one of three changes to the pack.
The other two see Springbok looshead prop Steven Kitshoff coming in for Ali Vermaak, out with a long-term neck injury, and Scarra Ntubeni taking over from Bongi Mbonambi in the No.2 jumper.
In the backline, Dillyn Leyds comes in at fullback for Damian Willemse, with Fleckie excited to see what the youngster can do off the bench.
“For the first time this campaign, I saw something in him this week - he trained exceptionally well.
“We’re looking forward to see what he brings off the bench.
“This week we saw an improvement in the energy he brings to the group.”
15 Dillyn Leyds, 14 Sergeal Petersen, 13 Dan du Plessis, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 SP Marais, 10 Jean-Luc du Plessis, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Juarno Augustus, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 JD Schickerling, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Scarra Ntubeni, 1 Steven Kitshoff. Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Corne Fourie, 18 Wilco Louw, 19 Cobus Wiese, 20 Jaco Coetzee, 21 Justin Phillips, 22 Ruhan Nel, 23 Damian Willemse.