Two South African all-timers, Ruan Pienaar and Frans Steyn, are to extend their already lengthy playing careers by one more year with the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup.
The province announced the news on Tuesday, with the pair committing until the end of 2023. It means that Steyn will be 37 when the contract ends, Pienaar 39.
Pienaar re-joined the Cheetahs in 2019 after a long career featuring spells at the Sharks (after he rose to prominence at the Cheetahs), Ulster and Montpellier. Steyn joined in 2020, a year after becoming one of a very few select number of players to have won the Rugby World Cup twice.
His career has taken him to even more places, including spells at both Racing and Montpellier as well as a stint in Japan.
The duo have been instrumental in the Cheetahs’ excellent Currie Cup campaign this year, sharing place-kicking duties and providing plenty of box office moments in a season where the Cheetahs have been somewhat marginalised by the advent of the United Rugby Championship.
Steyn was also in a famous instagrammable moment during this season, walking over to some raucous fans and downing a beer shortly after a match.
“We are delighted to announce that both our captain, Ruan Pienaar, and utility back Frans Steyn have committed to the Toyota Cheetahs for another year,” said Ross van Reenen, CEO of Free State Rugby (Pty) Ltd.