Springboks Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende have all committed their long-term rugby futures to Western Province and the Stormers.
Prop Malherbe, lock Etzebeth, flanker Kolisi and centre De Allende are in contention to represent South Africa at the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England, having all been part of the Springbok squad this season after impressing for the Stormers in Super Rugby.
Between them, the quartet have featured in 61 Tests, Etzebeth leading the way with 37 Test appearances since his debut against England in 2012, with Malherbe (six Tests) and Kolisi (11 Tests) making their debuts in 2013 and De Allende (seven caps) playing his first international in 2014.
“Frans Malherbe, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi and Damian de Allende have all been developed here at Western Province, coming through our youth structures and going on to play Test rugby for South Africa as standout Stormers and Western Province players,” said WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal.
“We are very excited about our new signings Pieter-Steph du Toit, JC Janse van Rensburg, JP Smith and Cornal Hendricks, but, at the same time, we need ensure we continue to develop and retain our own top talent too – the re-signings of Frans, Eben, Siya and Damian are a clear indication that we are doing so.
“Western Province is a successful rugby union; two Currie Cup triumphs in the past three years, three South African Super Rugby Conference titles out of a possible five, a Vodacom Cup triumph and numerous national U19 and U21 titles since 2012 speaks for itself.
“However, we need to ensure we build on these achievements and the likes of Frans, Eben, Siya and Damian are central to creating a WP Rugby dynasty of having the best players wanting to play here (and wanting) to win big trophies on a regular basis.”
With the confirmation of Pieter-Steph du Toit’s signing on Monday, and having already captured wing Hendricks and prop Van Rensburg, Smal promised even more good news for WP and Stormers fans in the coming weeks, who have already seen the introduction of other new signings, prop JP Smith and scrumhalf Jano Vermaak, in Province’s 2015 Currie Cup squad.
“We will announce some more re-signings in due course, whilst we will also be concluding our search for a new Super Rugby coach very shortly,” he added.