Sharks utility back Pat Lambie has extended his stay with the Durban-based outfit for at least the next three years.
Lambie is amongst a host of young players who have extended their contracts beyond next year’s Rugby World Cup.
Youngsters like Thomas du Toit, Andre Esterhuizen, Cameron Wright, S’bura Sithole and Stephan Lewies have also signed contracts to remain in Durban for the next three years.
Du Toit and Esterhuizen were involved in the Baby Boks’ IRB Junior World Championship campaign where they ended as losing finalists – going down 21-20 to England – with du Toit already boasting Super Rugby experience, just a few months after finishing his school career.
At just 23 years of age, Lambie has enjoyed a sparkling rugby career. He made his Test debut a few weeks after turning 20 and was the youngest member of the Springboks’ Rugby World Cup squad in 2011 (still 20), the year he was honoured as SA Rugby Young Player of the Year.
He featured for the Sprinboks in their bonus point victory over the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday, scoring a try and his entry onto the field coincided with the Boks’ best attacking period of the game, when they scored three tries in nine minutes.
Dale Chadwick, Matt Stevens, Monde Hadebe, Wiehan Hay, JC Astle, Khaya Majola, Conrad Hoffman, Heimar Williams, Lionel Cronje, Paul Jordaan, Tyler Fisher and Tim Swiel will all remain with the Sharks at least until the end of 2016 while a host of Springboks, expected to be a part of the Rugby World Cup, will all feature in the team’s Super Rugby campaign next year.
Tendai Mtawarira, Jannie Du Plessis, Bismarck Du Plessis, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Marcell Coetzee, Ryan Kankowski, Willem Alberts, Cobus Reinach, Francois Steyn, JP Pietersen and Lwazi Mvovo are all contracted until the end of 2015, as is current captain Tera Mtembu and Lourens Adriaanse, Kyle Cooper, Marco Wentzel, Etienne Oosthuizen, Johan Meyer, Fred Zeilinga, Odwa Ndungane and SP Marais, with the option to renew their contracts further.
“We haven’t started further contract negotiations with such players just yet,” said Sharks CEO John Smit.
“Obviously a number of those individuals will be involved in the World Cup, but I’m hoping to begin talks early next year to discuss their playing future beyond 2015.
“We’re always looking to bolster our squad where necessary, but generally I think we have assembled a very strong squad.”