Willemse to stay with Stormers

Damian Willemse will be among the Springbok players signing contract extensions with Western Province Rugby, writes CRAIG LEWIS.

Just this past week Vodacom Bulls coach Jake White mused about the prospect of Willemse heading to Loftus to bolster a backline that will soon also feature former Springbok utility back Johan Goosen.

The Bulls have been interested in Willemse for some time, but SARugbymag.co.za has reliably learned that the 22-year-old has agreed to remain with the Stormers and WP.

It’s a big boost for the Cape franchise to keep Willemse on their books, with the youngster regarded as of the most talented backs in South African rugby, capable of slotting in at flyhalf or fullback.

Meanwhile, as reported at the end of February, other World Cup winners Steven Kitshoff and Frans Malherbe are still expected to commit their futures to WP Rugby through to the 2023 World Cup.

READ: Big-name Boks set to recommit to Stormers

Kitshoff – who has established himself as the leading loosehead prop in South Africa – was understandably in high demand along with fellow Word Cup-winning front rower Malherbe, but both will continue to anchor the WP scrum.

In another boost to the front-row stocks, 30-year-old Scarra Ntubeni is also among the group set to extend their contracts.

However, there is currently a lack of clarity around Bongi Mbonambi’s future.

The experienced hooker was rumoured to be on the radar of both the Vodacom Bulls and Sharks, as well as a top overseas club, but was recently believed to have agreed to terms of a contract extension with WP Rugby.

Yet, over the last couple of weeks there have been some delays in officially signing off on the new WP deal, leading to some reports that he could be reconsidering his options.

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Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

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Craig Lewis