Bok stars extend Stormers stay
NEWS: World Cup-winning captain Siya Kolisi is one of eight Springboks who have signed contract extensions with Western Province Rugby and will play for the Stormers in 2020 and beyond.
World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Damian Willemse and Dillyn Leyds have all joined Kolisi and a host of other talented players in committing to the Stormers until 2021.
These Springboks will form the core of a competitive Stormers squad going forward, along with the likes of Junior Springbok captains Salmaan Moerat and Ernst van Rhyn, who have also signed extensions.
Props Kwenzo Blose, Leon Lyons and Neethling Fouche, locks JD Schickerling and Chris van Zyl, loose forwards Juarno Augustus, Ben-Jason Dixon, Johan du Toit and Nama Xaba and backs Sergeal Petersen, Edwill van der Merwe, Dan du Plessis, Jean-Luc du Plessis and Sihle Njezula have all signed new contracts with Western Province Rugby.
These extensions further strengthen the Stormers’ playing stocks, with players such as Springboks Herschel Jantjies and Wilco Louw still under current contracts, along with players such as Cobus Wiese, Jaco Coetzee and Ruhan Nel.
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Stormers Head Coach John Dobson said that he is looking forward to building a competitive squad around these key signings.
“Players like Siya Kolisi, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Dillyn Leyds, Damian Willemse and Frans Malherbe are part of the fabric of Stormers rugby, so it is fantastic to know that they will all be around to add value to our team environment in the next two years.
“We know what these players offer on and off the field, the challenge now is to get the most out of their considerable talents,” he said.
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Kolisi said that by keeping the core of the squad together, the Stormers have a great opportunity to achieve something special next season.
“I have been playing with some of these guys my whole career and we are all looking forward to reaching new heights in a Stormers jersey. We have a strong group of senior players and talented youngsters coming through all the time, which is what we need to reach our goal of rewarding the Faithful for their incredible support.
“I know it has been a tough few years for us and our Faithful, we really appreciate them for sticking with us and hopefully we will have plenty to celebrate in the future,” he said.
Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks said that given the strength of the players contracted, the future looks bright for the Stormers.
“While the introduction of the new contracting model, salary caps and the number of senior players that we can contract has made it a challenging process, I am most pleased to confirm that we have managed to retain the majority of our senior players for 2020 and beyond.
“It is encouraging to see how many top players have bought into our vision for the future and we look forward to seeing them help develop some of the outstanding young talent we have coming through the ranks in the years to come,” he said.