Western Province Rugby Group CEO Paul Zacks confirmed that Springbok hooker Bongi Mbonambi is amongst a host of key players that have committed their future to WP Rugby, by signing long-term contracts.
Mbonambi made his Test debut in 2016 following an impressive Super Rugby campaign with the Stormers and has signed a new three-year contract with the Union.
He is joined by a host of youngsters - backs Jean-Luc du Plessis, Dan du Plessis, EW Viljoen, Grant Hermanus, Justin Phillips and Brandon Thomson, and fellow forwards Chad Solomon, John Schickerling and Kobus van Dyk - in signing long-term contracts.
Zacks said that it is encouraging to see such talented players show confidence in the long-term vision of Western Province, joining the likes of senior players Eben Etzebeth, Pieter-Steph du Toit and Frans Malherbe who are all contracted until 2019.
"It is vital to retain talented players such as these who have signed new contracts, if we are to move forward and evolve," the CEO said.
"Of course there are many others who are on existing contracts that will also play a big role in what we have planned for the future," he said.
Western Province captain Chris van Zyl, Western Province Under-21 captain Luke Stringer, utility forward Jurie van Vuuren, centre Ryan Oosthuizen and flyhalf Ernst Stapelberg, all signed contract extensions with the union.
In addition to this, there are a number of players in last year's table-topping Western Province U21 and Western Province U19 teams that have also signed on.
Junior Springboks Eduard Zandberg, Cobus Wiese, Reuben de Villiers and Edwill van der Merwe along with David Brits have all signed five-year contracts, committing their long-term future to Western Province Rugby.
They are joined by the likes of Zain Davids, Percy Mngadi, Jaco Coetzee, Herschel Jantjies, Carlu Sadie, Lee-Marvin Mazibuko, Nama Xaba, Jordan Sesink-Clee, Jordan Chait, Ricky Nwagbara, Reuben Terblanche, Matt Wiseman, Saud Abrahams, Paul de Wet, Daniel Maree, Cornel Smit, Nico Leonard, Eduan Keyter, Thumi Mogoje, Ryan Muller, Juarno Augustus and Tristan Leyds who have all extended their contracts.
Director of Rugby Gert Smal said that by retaining these players, the coaching staff have a strong core to build on in the years to come.
"Depth and continuity are vital for any team, so to have players of this calibre commit to the Union is a major boost for us.
"This helps immeasurably in the planning that the coaches and management do," he said.
Thelo Wakefield, the President of the Western Province Rugby Football Union, said that these signings fit in with the vision of becoming the leading rugby union in the world.
"The fact that these players have decided to commit their futures to our union shows that they stand together with us and our strategic Vision 2020," Wakefield said.
"I look forward to watching them make all of us proud over the coming years at Newlands," he added.
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