Springbok flanker Schalk Burger will captain Western Stormers in the 2013 Super 15 season after recovering from injury, coach Allister Coetzee has confirmed.
Burger, 29, suffered a knee injury in the opening round of 2012 that kept the 193cm, 115kg forward sidelined all season.
Springbok skipper and centre Jean de Villiers replaced Burger as leader of the Stormers and now reverts to being vice-captain as the Cape Town-based team seek a first title.
They lost at home to fellow South Africans Coastal Sharks in the 2012 semi-finals and launch the new campaign on February 22 away to three-time champions Northern Bulls in Pretoria.
The return of 2007 World Cup winner Burger heightens competition for Springbok back-row places with Bulls' Pierre Spies also fit again and ready to challenge incumbents Francois Louw, Willem Alberts and Duane Vermeulen.