Stormers' Trokkie ready to roll after injury layoffs

By Wynona Louw Time of article published Feb 13, 2020

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CAPE TOWN - Up until now, injuries have played a big role in Juarno Augustus' young career. But on Saturday against the Lions,  Trokkie  will have his chance to show us just what we've been missing during all that time he's spent on the sidelines.

The Stormers have made three changes and one positional switch to their starting lineup for their Super Rugby game at Ellis Park (kickoff 3.05pm), with two of those changes coming in the loose trio.

At scrumhalf, Godlen Masimla gets his first start of the season in the absence of Herschel Jantjies, who's nursing a sternoclavicular injury he picked up ahead of the Bulls game. 

Up front, Augustus also gets his first start after returning from injury. He will start at No 8 in the place of Johan du Toit, who moves into the No 6 jumper with Jaco Coetzee unavailable for the Round Three clash as he's still recovering from a concussion. 

In the front row, scrummaging machine Wilco Louw, who will join English club Harlequins after the Super Rugby season, comes into the run-on side, with Frans Malherbe providing strong cover on the bench.

Among the replacements, fit-again JD Schickerling will provide second-row cover alongside Cobus Wiese, while Paul de Wet, who can cover scrumhalf and wing, will make his first appearance for the Stormers in 2020.

For Augustus, voted World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament in 2017, or simply the world's best U20 player, injuries have interrupted his much-anticipated climb since bossing the junior international tournament three years ago.

But tomorrow, in a starting berth, will serve as a chance to put those big hits, those massive ball-carries, those gainline-marauding ways and overall athletic ability on show and cause the Lions all sorts of problems at Ellis Park.

And it's a showcase John Dobson is looking forward to. 

“He’s one of our top loose forwards. He’s got real X-factor. He plays similarly to Jaco Coetzee, so when Jaco got injured it was a no brainer‚” Dobson said about Augustus, who recently returned from injury, again. 

The Stormers have gone with a six-two split again, just like the Lions, who have named Springbok Willem Alberts on the bench, an inclusion that will no doubt add some bulk and physicality to the Lions' pack later in the game.

Not that it bothers Dobson, though. And with his pack and the reinforcement he has on the bench, it shouldn't.

“He’s a great forward and a great Springbok, but this competition takes you a few weeks to get into it. It will take some adaptation and I’m sure they’ll try and ease him in to make a big impact, " he said during the team announcement. 

"Coming off the bench he is also going to be met by Frans‚ JD and Cobus, so I’m not too concerned." 

And with Trokkie there to do some early damage, why should he be? 

Stormers Team:  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.

@WynonaLouw IOL

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