Flip headlines latest Bulls signings

Wed, 16 Oct 2013 07:26
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The Bulls appear to be stemming the tide of senior players departing Pretoria, with a senior Bok headlining the latest list of contract extensions.

The Blue Bulls appear to be stemming the tide of senior players departing Pretoria, with the news that a senior Springbok headlines the latest of players who have extended their contracts till 2015.

Top of the list is 33-Test lock Flip van der Merwe, who signed an extension till 31 October 2015.

His decision to stay follows in the wake of the mass exodus of more than 20 senior players this year, including a host of Springboks - flyhalf Morné Steyn (Stade Francais), fullback Zane Kirchner (to Leinster), lock Juandre Kruger (Racing Metro), centre Wynand Olivier (Montpellier), loose forward Jacques Potgieter (Japan for six months and then Saracens), hooker Chiliboy Ralepelle (Toulouse), lock Wilhelm Steenkamp (Western Force), scrumhalf Jano Vermaak (Toulouse) and flank Dewald Potgieter (Yamaha).

However, Van der Merwe's decision to stay will give the Bulls young pack some experience.

Former Baby Bok and Junior World Cup winning centre William Small-Smith also extended his stay till 2015 and highly rated prop Morné Mellett will be playing his rugby in Pretoria till 2016.

Currie Cup stalwarts Rudi Paige (2016) and Jurgen Visser (2015) also signed on, while Blue Bulls Under-21 players Rudi van Rooyen and Nardus van der Walt signed till 2015.

Blue Bulls Company (Pty) High Performance Manager Xander Janse van Rensburg expressed his satisfaction with the quality of the players that will be staying at Loftus Versfeld.

"All of the players have been identified to play particular roles in our vision and future planning, so it is very pleasing that they all agreed to stay on," Janse van Rensburg said.

"We have not changed our vision to remain a leading franchise in domestic and world rugby and remain committed to be a team of choice for some of the best players in the world."

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