Pretoria - The Blue Bulls on Monday confirmed that a number of high profile Springboks have extended their contracts with the union for the next couple of seasons.
The likes of Handre Pollard (October 2019), Adriaan Strauss (October 2019), Jesse Kriel (October 2019), Trevor Nyakane (October 2018) and Jan Serfontein (October 2017) all confirmed their futures with the union by signing extensions that will keep them in Pretoria for a considerable time.
“This is a clear indication that frontline players see the Bulls and Blue Bulls as the ideal place to continue and build their already impressive careers," said High Performance Manager at the Blue Bulls Company (BBC), Xander Janse van Rensburg.
"These players are all expected to be amongst the best in the world in their positions for a number of years still and should play many Test matches for the Springboks while in Bulls colours. This is a massive endorsement from them towards our mission statement and drive to be one of the leading rugby teams in the world. Not only the Bulls, but South African rugby will benefit in having them based in Pretoria.”
"We believe Blue Bulls rugby has the ability to attract and retain the biggest names in South African rugby and this is proof of that.
"We have worked very hard over the last couple of months to steady the ship and to ensure we remain the preferred team to many of the country's best players. We had to re-invent ourselves in a way and owned up to the fact that this team belongs as much to the fans as to the union and the players in the squad.
“The fact that these players want to stay on to be part of this new drive to make our supporters proud, shows their commitment. They accepted the responsibility to achieve those goals and that makes us very proud and humbled. Exciting times await," said Janse van Rensburg.
Janse van Rensburg also confirmed that current Currie Cup squad members Andre Warner Dries Swanepoel, Roelof Smit and Irne Herbst (all until October 2017) signed on for two more seasons.
"All of them have represented South Africa already at various stages of their young careers and it is great to know that we will be able to call on their massive potential and abilities for the next couple of seasons. These players hail from our junior structures and constitutes our new generation, we are excited about their futures here."
Four new players from outside the union were also recruited. Freddy Ngoza (flank, Free State), Entienne Swanepoel (prop, WP), Lihleli Xoli (utility back, WP) and Le Roux Roets (lock, Golden Lions) have signed contracts until October 2017.
"It is great to have these players around for the next couple of years. Someone like Le Roux Roets was schooled at Garsfontein and then snapped up by the Golden Lions, but we are very happy to see him back in blue. Lihleli, Freddy and Entienne are all players we have been following closely for the last couple of seasons and we are excited to see their careers hopefully excel in Pretoria," said Janse van Rensburg.