Northampton Saints have made a new signing at number 8 in the form of South African prospect Juarno Augustus. The 23-year-old joins from Western Province and the Stormers whom he has represented since 2017.
Size and strength in the forwards has long been an Achilles heel of this Northampton pack. Many will feel this signing marks a statement of intent going into next season. The need for high-quality ball for an exciting backline to make the most of has been apparent for much of this season and Chris Boyd clearly feels Augustus can bring that.
There’s a runaway truck coming to Northampton 🔥
Here’s a little taster of what to expect from barnstorming No.8, Juarno ‘Trokkie’ Augustus next season.
— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) May 11, 2021
Saints bolster pack with massive no 8
At 6’2” and 116kg, Augustus certainly will bring physicality to what is a brutal league. The signing of a high-quality number 8 was always going to be key to this Northampton side progressing. Since the departure of Louis Picamoles, the side has somewhat struggled to get on the front foot at times.
Augustus no doubt is relishing the opportunity to play at such a historic club stating “I am really excited to have the opportunity to join a Club full of pedigree in Northampton Saints”.
He went onto point out that “it is a club known across the world for its history of success in the Premiership and in Europe, and their current squad is clearly filled with talent, so I can’t wait to get to Northampton and get started with the group.”
Director of Rugby Chris Boyd was keen to point out Augustus’ growth potential. This perhaps indicates that he sees the young back-rower as a project player rather than a quick fix.
Boyd stated, “At just 23 years old, Juarno still has many years ahead of him to learn his craft, and I’m looking forward to seeing his progress within our set-up here at Franklin’s Gardens”.
This is hardly surprising given Boyd’s tendency to value younger talent over established names. However, if Augustus can get the most out of his size then an instant impact is likely.
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