Stormers captain Schalk Burger has confirmed that he is ready to make his comeback from injury having missed most of the 2012 season due to injury.
The 29-year-old was injured in the opening match of the 2012 Super Rugby season and now says that he is determined to make up for lost time this year after a frustrating period spent on the sidelines.
"I'm ready to go and looking forward to it," said Burger. "Last year was a bit of a disaster; it's good to be back on a rugby field - despite the tough pre-season!
"I've just got to try to get my conditioning back to a level where I can play some good rugby again," he revealed during the team's pre-season camp in Hermanus.
"I've got a lot of energy after just about a year on the sidelines - you build up some extra motivation," he added, "also, getting back with the team makes you realise how much you miss rugby. It's just great to be running around again."
Burger was confirmed as Stormers captain on Wednesday along with Jean de Villiers as his deputy but the captain is pleased to be leading the side again.
"It's nice captaining the side again, but it's not about me.
"There's a great group of experienced leaders all around. I've really just got to do some post-match interviews and keep you guys (referring to the media) happy!"
"Hopefully it will be a really successful 2013 for the Stormers. We've created many opportunities in the past to win the trophy... It's a big competition and hopefully we can put ourselves right in contention again," he said, referring to their SA Conference-winning seasons of 2011 and 2012.
"But you don't want to jump the gun; you do have to take it week by week."
Stormers coach Allister Coetzee revealed that 88 Stormers cap Burger will play in one of the two friendlies next month - either against the Cheetahs (on February 2) or the Boland Cavaliers (on February 9).