Stormers captain Siya Kolisi says his players are well-prepared for their Super Rugby opener against the Jaguares at Newlands on Saturday, having enjoyed a fruitful pre-season.
The Stormers have managed to keep the bulk of last season's squad, though they start the campaign without a few stalwarts, such as injured Springboks Eben Etzebeth and Frans Malherbe.
Kolisi is raring to go, though, and expects his side to improve on their quarterfinal showing last season.
"We are very excited as a team, there have not been a lot of changes, we are just working harder on the things we wanted to do last year," he told the team's official website.
"We want to keep improving every year, so it is something that the guys are very excited about.
"This new way of training we have worked harder, but we have got to play more rugby so it is easier for us to get to learn the plays and everything going forward.
"It is looking good and we are looking forward to the new season, we know we have to be even fitter to play the game we want to play."
The Stormers may start their season at home but play only three of their first nine games of the season in Cape Town, including a tough trip to the Antipodes to meet the Waratahs, Crusaders, and Highlanders in their first four games.
"We are going to take it game by game, we all know it is going to be tough, either way it doesn't matter. We have got a tough draw, but we don't look at it that way, it is going to be good for us," Kolisi says.
"The most important thing for us is this coming game against the Jaguares. We have put all of our concentration on this game and we know that if we start off well and get a win at home we will go on tour with a positive mindset."