Junior Springbok No 8 Juarno Augustus was named the World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament on Sunday.
Augustus was a try scoring machine and crosses the whitewash in each of the Junior Boks five matches, seven in total and the leading try scorer in the tournament.
The young man from Western Province have made steady progress though his short professional career and allot is expected from the eight man. Most people are saying he is a more conservative number eight and have a almost Vermeulen feel to his play.
He went up against England captain Zach Mercer and his teammate Gabriel Ibiotye, and New Zealand’s Tiaan Falcon and Will Jordan for the prestigious award.
“It is a surreal feeling to win this award,” Augustus said. “I didn’t think I would win it.
“It is an honour and privilege for me, and certainly a highlight in my career.
“I’d like to thank my teammates, coaches and the public who voted for me. I’d also like to thank my family for their unwavering support throughout my career. This is a very special moment.”
He only started playing rugby at the age of 12 but has shown with his performances in Georgia and his knack of popping up in the right place at the right time that he will be donning the Springbok jersey before too long.
The Junior Boks depart for South Africa via Istanbul on Monday, and will land in Cape Town on Tuesday.
The next question will be if Western Province will be able to keep the exciting youngster in the province and secondly if they will try and expose him to Super Rugby with the remaining three matches in the group stages.
Western Province do not have a good track record for keeping young players and letting them grow in the system. Names like Pollard, Hougaard, Combrick spring to mind when you look at quality players that left Cape Town early in their careers.
Augustus still have a contract with WP till end of next season but time will tell if the powers of WP rugby will let another youngster slip away or will they finally keep one for the franchise.
The powerful number eight is the joint top try-scorer going into the final round of matches, having scored six tries for the Junior Springboks in Georgia. He has scored in every match, including braces against France in the opening round – including the last-gasp try that enabled South Africa to snatch a draw – and the semi-final loss to England.
Photo: World Rugby