at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
Johannesburg – The SA Rugby Union (Saru) on Friday announced it had added seven new players to the Springbok contract group for the 2014 season.
Marcell Coetzee, JJ Engelbrecht, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Coenie Oosthuizen and Flip van der Merwe were all included among a list of 17 contracted players.
The signing of the new players was completed in the past week to adding to the ten players who had agreed long-term contracts in 2013.
“I am delighted that we have been able to conclude the contracting of a core Springbok group so early in the year,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said in statement on Friday.
He said there was scope to contract additional players if the coach so wished.
Experienced Springbok wing JP Pietersen, who was expected back in Durban from his Japanese club in the coming weeks, had already committed his future to South African rugby by signing a national contract for 2015.
“A lot of hard work was put into finalising these contracts late last year and we would have made the announcement at that time but for needing one player to come back from leave and put pen to paper.
“The core group of Springboks are now nationally contracted, which bodes well for the next two seasons as we step up preparations for the Rugby World Cup in England in 2015.”
Springbok contracted players: Willem Alberts, Jean de Villiers, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Tendai Mtawarira, Frans Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Duane Vermeulen, Marcell Coetzee, JJ Engelbrecht, Francois Hougaard, Patrick Lambie, Willie le Roux, Coenie Oosthuizen and Flip van der Merwe. – Sapa