Stormers secure services of Bulls duo
Cape Town - The Stormers have secured the services of two promising youngsters from the Bulls.
The Cape franchise on Monday confirmed several contract extensions and new signings.
Tighthead prop Neethling Fouche and flyhalf Joshua Stander are among the new recruits.
The 24-year-old Fouche has not played much for the Bulls, but WP Rugby’s director of rugby Gert Smal predicts a bright future for the player.
The 23-year-old Stander, who has been on the Bulls' books since 2013, is seen as a replacement for Robert du Preez, who has since joined the Sharks.
Meanwhile, the Stormers also confirmed the signings of utility back JJ Engelbrecht and wing Sergeal Petersen.
Engelbrecht, who boasts 12 Test caps, will make his return to Cape Town once he has concluded his commitments with Japanese side Toyota Industries Shuttles early next year.
The 28-year-old played for the Stormers between 2008 and 2011 before heading off to join the Bulls in Pretoria.
The 23-year-old Petersen, meanwhile, joins from the Cheetahs.
A host of senior players also signed contract extensions with Western Province Rugby beyond the 2018 season.
With the senior Springbok and Stormers trio of Siya Kolisi, Damian de Allende and Steven Kitshoff having recently signed extensions until the end of 2019, they have since been joined by 13 further players in committing to the union for the next two years.
Experienced forwards JC Janse van Rensburg, Scarra Ntubeni, Nizaam Carr, Caylib Oosthuizen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Ali Vermaak, as well as exciting younger talents Wilco Louw and Kobus van Dyk have all committed their immediate future to the engine room at Newlands.
Dillyn Leyds, Jano Vermaak, SP Marais, Craig Barry and Michal Hazner are the backline players that have signed extensions.
Of course, the likes of Springboks Bongi Mbonambi, Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth and Pieter-Steph du Toit are also all currently on contracts which run until the end of 2019.
There are also a number of current Under-19 and Under-21 players that have signed contract extensions, with World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament Juarno Augustus and Junior Springbok captain Ernst van Rhyn two of the young talents set to continue their careers with Western Province Rugby.
Former Cheetahs wing Raymond Rhule will join training in January along with the rest of the Springboks in the squad.
Smal said that with a talented wider squad assembled, the hard work starts now for the Stormers.
"We are excited about the depth of talent that we have at our disposal with a number of senior players committing who will be able to provide valuable guidance for the talented youngsters coming through. It is important that we keep on moving forward in terms of our results, playing style and composure in all areas."
The Stormers start their 2018 Super Rugby campaign at home against the Jaguares on February 17.