Pretoria - Freshly-capped Springboks Handre Pollard and Marcel van der Merwe, as well as relative newcomer to international rugby Jan Serfontein, have extended their contracts with the Bulls, the union said on Friday.
Serfontein, who had played 12 matches for the Boks, extended his contract to 2017, as did Pollard, while Van der Merwe had his contract extended to 2016.
Van der Merwe made his international debut for the Springboks against Scotland last weekend and, according to the Bull's high performance manager, it was well-deserved and a reflection of his abilities as a prop.
“Marcel has a long and promising career on the highest level ahead of him and we are pretty pleased that he will be playing that in a Vodacom Bulls and Vodacom Blue Bulls jersey,” Xander Janse van Rensburg said in a statement.
Pollard was in the starting XV of his debut Test, a week after being named IRB Junior Player of the Year in New Zealand. He captained the Junior Springboks at the recent Junior World Championship and also became the top points' scorer of all time in the JWC, where South Africa lost to England by one point in the final.
Serfontein, also an IRB Junior Player of the Year winner in 2012, started at centre in the recent incoming series against Wales and Scotland, having made his debut in 2013, aged 20.
“Jan and Handre have all the attributes to become legendary Springboks and there is little doubt that they will be very influential players for the Bulls for many years to come,” Janse van Rensburg said.
“Both committed to the Bulls as school boys already and it is fantastic to know they want to stay on, share and contribute to our vision of being the top team in the Super Rugby and Currie Cup competitions.
“Their loyalty and commitment to the Bulls are a fine example to others.”
Janse van Rensburg also confirmed a number of players who confirmed or extended their contracts, among them a group of 2014 Junior Springboks.
“The Under-20's impressed everyone with their performances in New Zealand this year and it is great to see how many of the stars in that team have committed themselves to continue their careers with us.
The following players confirmed and extended their contracts:
Bulls: Marcel van der Merwe (2016), Handre Pollard (2017), Jan Serfontein (2017).
Blue Bulls: Neethling Fouche (2016), Clyde Davids (2017), Burger Odendaal (2016), Kefentse Mahlo (2015), Jade Stighling (2015).
2014 Junior Springboks: Corniel Els (2016), Dayan van der Westhuizen (2015), Abongile Nonkontwana (2015), Nqoba Mxoli (2015), Nicholaas Janse van Rensburg (2016), JP Smith (2015), Warrick Gelant (2016), Jesse Kriel (2015), Daniel Kriel (2015), Pierre Schoeman (2016), Arno van Wyk (2015).