Taute 'desperate' for return
Cape Town - One man who stands to benefit from Allister Coetzee’s decision to rest his key Stormers for this Saturday’s clash against the Sharks is Jaco Taute.
The former Lions fullback has had a difficult season, suffering from a lengthy knee injury that has seen him miss the entire round-robin campaign. But he is in line for his first appearance of 2015 this weekend having featured at the back end of Western Province’s Vodacom Cup campaign.
Able to play at centre and fullback, it appears that Taute will most likely feature for the Stormers at 12 – a position where both he and backline coach Robbie Fleck consider him at his best.
"I think, because I played inside centre for the whole of last year’s Currie Cup - where I feel things went really well," said Taute.
"We won and I feel I built up more momentum in the position. I’m also more used to the position now, so I’d really like to continue at inside centre and build on that.
"I’m not saying I’d never play fullback again but for now my focus is on the position where I played in during the last Currie Cup."
But playing at the highest level again is most important for Taute right now.
"I would really just like to get on the park. I’ve got some good game time under by belt in the Vodacom Cup these last few weeks. So I’d like to play to be able to build some momentum to fulfil my potential and give my best to the Stormers," the 24-year-old said on Tuesday.
"I’m really desperate, very hungry and I can’t wait to pull that jersey over my head again."
Taute also gave a glimpse into how arduous his recovery was.
"I went through a very strict rehabilitation process where I worked incredibly hard," he said.
"The operation at the beginning of the year was basically just to clean up the wear and tear. It had nothing to do with ligaments so I feel I’ve worked incredibly hard and feel really good."
Fleck said he saw a bright future for Taute at the Stormers.
"I think that in the Currie Cup last year he was one of our best players of the season," Fleck said.
"He’s got massive leadership capabilities, he’s a great organiser... I feel that we’ve found his best position at 12. He brings a lot of energy.
"The future of Jaco Taute is very solid and I feel he has a huge amount of value to add to this team."
The Stormers take on the Sharks in Durban on Saturday with kick-off at 19:10.