Springboks to stay home after signing new deals at Bulls

PRETORIA (Reuters) – Five South African internationals put uncertainty over their post-World Cup future behind them on Monday by extending their contracts at Super Rugby outfit the Bulls.

With a growing number of South African players heading to European clubs, the Bulls struck a blow for domestic competition by holding onto Jesse Kriel, Trevor Nyakane, Handre Pollard, Jan Serfontein and Adriaan Strauss.

Only centre Serfontein is not among the 31 players named at the weekend to compete for South Africa at the World Cup in England, which starts on Sept. 18.

Kriel, Pollard and Strauss have signed until October 2019 while Nyakane is now contracted until October 2018 and Serfontein until October 2017.

“This is a clear indication that frontline players see the Bulls as the ideal place to continue and build their already impressive careers,” the franchise’s High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg said in a statement on Monday.

“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.

“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.”

A growing trend of players signing for clubs in England and France, where a favourable exchange rate vastly increases their earning potential, has been a major concern for South African rugby.

(Reporting by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly; [email protected]; +27828257807; Reuters Messaging: Reuters Messaging: [email protected])

Springboks to stay home after signing new deals at Bulls