Stormers sign Stander and Engelbrecht returns

Mon, 11 Dec 2017 08:45
Large stormers huddle 2017 800

SUPER RUGBY PRE-SEASON: The Stormers have bolstered their squad further ahead of the 2018 Super Rugby season.

Blue Bulls duo flyhalf Joshua Stander and prop Neethling Fouche have both signed with the Cape side and will join new recruits Sergeal Petersen and Raymond Rhule.

Rhule will join training in January along with the rest of the Springboks in the squad, whilst JJ Engelbrecht will make his return to Cape Town for the Super Rugby campaign once he has concluded his commitments with Japanese side Toyota Industries Shuttles.  

Meanwhile, A host of senior players have signed contract extensions with Western Province Rugby beyond the 2018 season.

With the senior Springbok and Stormers trio of Siyamthanda 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 Jacobus Janse van Rensburg, Siyabonga Ntubeni, Nizaam Carr, Caylib Oosthuizen, Sikhumbuzo Notshe, Alistair 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, Sarel Marais, Craig Barry and Michal Hazner are the backline players that have signed extensions.

The likes of Springboks Mbongeni 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 U21 players that have signed contract extensions, with World Rugby Under-20 Championship Player of the Tournament Juarno Augustus and Junior Springbok captain Ernst van Ryhn two of the young talents set to continue their careers with Western Province Rugby.

Stormers head coach Robbie Fleck says that following a short break after the Currie Cup, the players are refreshed and ready to give their all in an effort to further raise standards in all departments.

"Last season we changed our approach in the pre-season, which stood us in good stead throughout the campaign.

"The focus is on making sure that we put the hard work in now, both physically and mentally, in order to prepare the team for what lies ahead next year," he said.

Director of Rugby Gert 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," he said.

Western Province Rugby Group CEO, Paul Zacks, said that he cannot wait to see what this group will be able to go on to achieve in the next few years.

"This is a really exciting time for the Stormers, with a strong squad and a management team that can take us forward into a new era," he said.

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Sat, 24 March 2018
Ospreys v Leinster 19h35 Liberty Stadium
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Fri, 30 March 2018
Chiefs v Highlanders 06h35 Hamilton
Rebels v Hurricanes 08h45 Melbourne
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Blues v Sharks 06h35 Eden Park
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Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Rebels 5 4 0 1 20
Reds 5 3 0 2 13
Waratahs 4 2 1 1 10
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Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 5 3 0 2 15
Hurricanes 4 3 0 1 14
Chiefs 4 3 0 1 13
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Blues 4 1 0 3 6
Pool SA
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 5 4 0 1 19
Stormers 6 3 0 3 13
Sharks 5 1 1 3 9
Bulls 5 1 0 4 5
Jaguares 4 1 0 3 4