Somerset skipper Marcus Trescothick is looking forward to having South African seamer Vernon Philander at his disposal during the opening two months of the county season.
Philander has taken 45 wickets in six Tests since his debut last November and his ability to swing the ball appears ideally suited to the conditions he will encounter in England in April and May.
Somerset start their bid for a maiden county championship title on April 5 when newly-promoted Middlesex visit Taunton.
"The winter has been pretty good for us," Trescothick told Sky Sports News HD.
"Philander has been absolutely outstanding in Test cricket so far.
"We are all excited about him coming over and seeing how well he can perform, because he has been the standout around the world."
Somerset have challenged consistently on all fronts under Trescothick's leadership but have made a habit of coming up short, both in their search for an elusive championship and in one-day finals.
And their squad strength is likely to be tested to the full this year with Craig Kieswetter and Jos Buttler both involved with England's limited-overs set-up.
"It is a little bit difficult because you are losing your quality players to England duty but that is what you aspire to as a club," added Trescothick.
"We are here to win county games and competitions, but at the same time our most important thing is making sure we are producing players to go on to the next level and play for England."
Somerset step up their preparations on March 19-20 with a warm-up match at Taunton against Division Two side Glamorgan.
"It is getting earlier and earlier every year," said Trescothick. "When you are starting the games on April 5, you've got to get pre-season and practice in as quick as you can.
"We don't tend to go abroad a great deal through the cost. When you get (sunny) weather like this it doesn't really matter, you are not worried about the time of year because the conditions are pretty good for it."