'An incredibly easy decision': No Cape Town return for Trokkie
NEWS: English club Northampton Saints confirmed that Juarno Augustus has put pen to paper on a new contract with the club.
The influential South African No.8 has become a fixture in the first team at Franklin’s Gardens, making 45 appearances and scoring 13 tries so far for the club in the two seasons since his arrival from the Stormers in 2021.
Two years ago, the Stormers announced that the player signed a deal with an English club “with a view to returning to Cape Town a more experienced and well-rounded player” and he “intends to return to his home union in 2023 with even more to offer”.
However, things seemed to have changed and Augustus is now staying in England.
Augustus has proven himself to be a loose forward for the physical demands of the Premiership, demonstrating his powerful and dynamic ball-carrying ability on a regular basis for Saints.
During the 2022/23 season, the 25-year-old made more metres with ball in hand than any other forward in the league, while also topping the Premiership rankings in metres made after contact.
“We’re delighted to keep Juarno at the club because of the impact he can have on matches for Northampton Saints,” said Director of Rugby, Phil Dowson.
“His ball-carrying ability clearly sets him apart – statistically he is one of the very best in the league – but he has huge desire to get better across the board and is improving all the time; creating more turnovers, offloading more often both before and after contact, being stronger in defence, and jumping in our line-out as well.
“He’s a class act and makes things happen in games for us as he gets us going forward, which is a very valuable commodity indeed.”
The story continues below…
Keep on truckin’ 🚛
We’re delighted to confirm that the brilliant Juarno Augustus has agreed a new contract with the Club ✍️ADVERTISEMENT
➡️ https://t.co/c4utewhUTh pic.twitter.com/3V0tJHssio
— Northampton Saints 😇 (@SaintsRugby) May 22, 2023
Dowson added: “There are loads more he can offer as well, and we look to get him in the game as regularly as possible because, more often than not, the more he touches the ball the better we play.
“Juarno’s also a really good personality to have in the group. He’s got a great sense of humour, is pretty relaxed around the camp, and I know he’s popular amongst the lads, so everyone is thrilled to keep him here.”
While he was with the Stormers in South Africa, Augustus was involved in the Springbok Green vs Springbok Gold invitational match in October 2020, having previously enjoyed a stellar junior international career when he was named Player of the Tournament at the 2017 World Rugby Under-20 Championship in Georgia.
But despite travelling across the world to ply his trade in Northampton, Augustus insists he has never felt more at home.
“For me, it was an incredibly easy decision to stay at Saints,” he said.
“From my very first day at the club, I have felt welcome and I love the group of boys we have here.
“I’m also really enjoying my rugby in Northampton. I’m involved with the team almost every week, and we play with a style which really suits my game too. I know that my game has improved so much since I’ve come over thanks to the coaches, staff and players here.
“For the last two years we have come within a couple of games of winning the Premiership, and 100 percent I think with the squad we have, we can go even further in the coming years. We just have to believe in ourselves and keep on improving.
“The club’s supporters are incredible – it’s a massive part of wanting to stay in Northampton as well. The stadium is full every week, the pitch is the best in the league, so I love playing at the Gardens and I can’t wait to continue.”