Springboks Marcel van der Merwe and Jan Serfontein have put pen to paper on new contracts that will keep them at the Bulls until 2016 and 2017 respectively.
Having seen a number of departures in recent weeks, the Bulls breathed a sigh of relief as they managed to tie down some of their most talented youngsters for the coming seasons. Blue Bulls high-performance manager Xander Janse van Renseburg revealed the reasoning behind the contract offers.
'Marcel and Jan were both in line for a contract renewal because their contracts were due to expire in October 2014,' he told SARugbymag.co.za. 'They were in the shop window and could've looked elsewhere, but luckily for us they both chose to renew their contracts for a further term. Every player whose contract is running down is a priority and we're very glad that we've got those two guys onboard for the next few seasons.'
They weren't the only players to sign on the dotted line. A number of Junior Springboks have also signed on for the foreseeable future, most notably IRB Junior Player of the Year Handré Pollard. While Pollard was already contracted to the Bulls, the new deal is reward for the progress he has made this season.
'Handré was already signed on until 2017, but due to the fact that he is now a Springbok, he had some incentive clauses that needed to be met.'
Contract talks with Bulls wing Akona Ndungane are still ongoing, while negotiations with hooker Bongi Mbonambi seem to have broken down. The Bulls are now likely to look elsewhere for a replacement, with Cheetahs captain Adriaan Strauss being touted as a possible recruit.
Bulls – Marcel van der Merwe (2016), Handré Pollard (2017), Jan Serfontein (2017)
Blue Bulls – Neethling Fouché (2016), Clyde Davids (2017), Burger Odendaal (2016), Kefentse Mahlo (2015), Jade Stighling (2015)
Junior Springboks – Corniel Els (2016), Dayan van der Westhuizen (2015), Abongile Nonkontwana (2015), Nqoba Mxoli (2015), Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg (2016), JP Smith (2015), Warrick Gelant (2016), Jesse Kriel (2015), Daniel Kriel (2015), Pierre Schoeman (2016), Arno van Wyk (2015)
Photo: Anne Laing/HSM Images