Incumbent Springboks, Embrose Papier and Warrick Gelant, extended their contracts with the Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd and will play their rugby in Pretoria for the foreseeable future, it was confirmed today. The BBC announced that Papier, a debutant for the Springboks in 2018, has signed on till 2021, while Gelant, widely regarded as one of the most exciting fullbacks in world rugby, will continue representing the Vodacom Bulls till at least 2020.
Both players declined offers from elsewhere and will continue their futures in the province where they made their Currie Cup, Vodacom Super Rugby and Springboks debuts.
The two extended contracts are but a number of leading players who on Monday signed new deals. Conraad van Vuuren (2020) and Johnny Kotze (2020) starred for the Vodacom Bulls in Super Rugby this year and will continue to do so, while Junior Springboks, Ruan Nortje and Mornay Smith did the same. Nortje (2020), who played for the Junior Boks this year, made his Vodacom Super Rugby and Currie Cup debuts as well this year, with Smith (2020) representing the Vodacom Bulls for the first time as well.
The signing of current Junior Springboks prop, Alulutho Tshakweni, will further boost the ranks. The Eastern Province player has signed till the end of the season.
“We are very happy about the extended contracts signed by Embrose and Warrick. It is fitting that they became Springboks with us and that they will remain Vodacom Bulls players as their international careers takes off. It is great to have a number of experienced international players in your squad and this will help in our goal to build a squad that can win the Vodacom Super Rugby title again,” said high performance manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg. “It is always a good feeling and a true reflection of what is brewing within the walls of Loftus, when your star players see their future with this union,” said Janse van Rensburg.
“Johnny and Conraad were great for us this year showing their true worth at Super Rugby level, and they will continue to develop and grow here, while Ruan and Mornay are amongst the most talented youngsters I have seen in recent seasons, so it is great to have them around for the foreseeable future.”
Warrick Gelant on staying at Loftus: “It’s an exciting time to be part of this team. There’s something special happening at Loftus, and I’m looking forward to remaining a part of it. I am privileged to play the game I love, with the people I consider close to my heart, and more importantly for the fans that give us this opportunity to live our dreams.”
The BBC also confirmed that utility player, Ulrich Beyers, was released to the Isuzu Southern Kings with immediate effect, while Abongile Nonkontwana is on trial with the Toyota Free State Cheetahs. The #BullsFamily would like to wish these two gentlemen everything of the best with the next steps of their careers, and sincerely thanks them for their contributions to the brand.