Kolisi wants to bring out the best in 'Trokkie'
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Stormers captain Siyamthanda Kolisi wants his team to give 19-year-old South Africa Under-20 star Juarno Augustus the platform to shine in their Super Rugby Round 16 encounter against the Sunwolves at Newlands on Saturday.
Augustus, who was recently named Player of the Tournament at the end of World Rugby's U20 Championship in Georgia, will be making his Stormers debut in the No.7 jersey this weekend in a back row featuring experienced campaigners in the form for Kolisi and Nizaam Carr.
"I am looking forward to combining with Trokkie," said Kolisi. "I am very happy for him. I watched him come up with the pre-season. He was working very hard and he had to actually work a bit more than the other guys because he was a bit bigger, so he lost a lot of weight.
"He worked hard to make sure that he stays with the Stormers group and then he went to the U20s and he did exactly what we saw him do in the warm-up games.
"I have been looking forward to seeing him play and I am excited to see him play. I am hoping we can actually free him up so we let him do what he does best because I think it is exciting to see him play and all the guys are keen for him [to do well]."
Augustus starred in the No.8 jersey for the Junior Boks in Georgia, but Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck feels the youngster will be comfortable in the No.7 role as well.
"Nemo [Nizaam Carr] has been going pretty well there [at No.8] for us and obviously we also got [Sikhumbuzo] Notshe," said Fleck. "We were actually looking to give Notshe a start at No.8 this weekend, but because of the knee injury, he has dropped out of the 23 altogether.
"For the sake of continuity, we would like to keep Nemo there and obviously Augustus has done pretty well in the pre-season and he did play between No.7 and No.8, so it is a position that he is comfortable in.
"When he comes around the corner there from a ball carrying point of view, No.7 is probably the best place to get stuck in quite early, so it is a good position for him and for us and we are looking forward to seeing how he goes."
Fleck does not think it is a risk giving a young player like Augustus his first Super Rugby start against the Sunwolves at Newlands.
"I don't think it is a big call to be honest. I think that he was outstanding playing for SA U20 in a pretty tough competition.
"He was outstanding for us in the pre-season, so we are actually very excited to see how he goes and there is no better opportunity for him than playing against the Sunwolves at Newlands.
"He should be pretty comfortable playing at Newlands. He did play against the Lions in the pre-season game here and he did pretty well, so we were very comfortable with the selection and if he goes well it gives us options going forward against the Bulls and in the quarterfinals," Fleck added.
By Warren Fortune