Cape Town - The second row partnership of Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit is expected to be one of the shining lights of the Stormers' Super Rugby season.
Du Toit joined the Cape franchise at the tail-end of 2015 from the Sharks, where he had struggled with a knee injury and spent far more time on the sidelines than the Durbanites would have liked.
That history of injury is perhaps the one concern for the Stormers, but from what coach Robbie Fleck has seen in pre-season so far, the 23-year-old Springbok is in good shape.
"He’s looking awesome … he's a serious beast and a great rugby player," Fleck said.
"He’s a quiet man, but hard as nails. He’s been a great addition to the squad … a quiet leader in his own sort of way and we’ve been very impressed with him."
Naturally, Fleck is excited about his new highly rated lock combination.
"We’re happy with the lock situation … Eben coming back and Pieter-Steph, who wants to push for that No 5 position. "He (Du Toit) wants to control the lineouts," said Fleck.
"And then we have a young kid in JD Shickerling who is a seriously good rugby player and he’ll be getting a good shout at some stage in this competition."
The Stormers play their first Super Rugby match on February 27 when they host the Bulls at Newlands.