CAPE TOWN - Loose forward Juarno Augustus has signed a two-year deal with English Premiership side Northampton Saints, the Stormers announced on Tuesday.
Augustus has been granted an early release from his contract with Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR) and is set to leave in July.
The former World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament represented Western Province at the U18 Academy Week before joining the Western Province Rugby Institute after school, before going on to impress for the WP U19 side.
The 23-year-old has struggled with his fair share of injuries in his young career and thus couldn’t enjoy many uninterrupted runs for the Stormers since making his debut in 2017, but he has managed some impressive performances during the 19 and 15 appearances he has made for the Stormers and WP senior side respectively.
Augustus said that he intends to return from England with even more to offer.
"This is a great opportunity for me to experience a new environment and grow on and off the field so that I can add more value in the blue and white jersey in the future," he said.
Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that Augustus will benefit from the experience of playing in England and return a more experienced player.
"We were not going to stand in Juarno's way and wish him all the best, he is still very young and will add to his game in the next two years before returning to us.
"He is a proud product of this region and we look forward to seeing him develop his game and return a better player one day. We have seen the benefit in the past of such a move with our current captain Steven Kitshoff and we are hopeful that Juarno's career will follow the same path," he said.
WPPR Chairman Ebrahim Rasool said that this move will give Augustus the opportunity to grow as a person and a rugby player.
"At 23 Juarno is still a young man and has the chance to mature in England. We are hopeful of seeing him return to Cape Town one day to make further meaningful contributions to the team and region that has made him such an attractive prospect," he said.