Cape Town – He has quickly set Loftus Versfeld alight with his exhilarating play, and now Kurt-Lee Arendse is set to become a legend of Bulls rugby after signing a contract extension.
The Pretoria side announced on Tuesday that the 26-year-old from Paarl has committed to the Bulls for three more years until June 2026, having moved up north from the Blitzboks sevens team in 2020.
Arendse has made a superb impression at the Bulls, which led to his Springbok debut against Wales last year.
Equally comfortable at fullback or wing, the former sevens star has earned 31 Bulls caps already – along with seven Bok appearances – and Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone revealed that Arendse received several offers from overseas clubs for his services.
So, the fact that the Bulls have managed to extend his stay in the capital city is a major boost for their future prospects of silverware, while he is also a sure bet for the Boks’ Rugby World Cup squad.
“One of the things that I am fortunate about is that I have a long-term deal with the Bulls, and I have a lot of players who have committed to long-term deals too. So, to have Kurt-Lee join the likes of Canan (Moodie), Johan (Goosen) and a very long list of great players who have also committed their time to this work we are doing here is fantastic,” director of rugby Jake White said.
“Kurt-Lee is a brilliant player with the ability to change the game, finding ways to create something out of (nothing), and this is the reason why he is a Springbok.
“It is great to have him stay with us for a longer term, and that is fantastic news for rugby fans across South Africa.”
The Bulls suffered a disappointing 29-25 United Rugby Championship defeat to the Lions at Loftus at the weekend, which was their fourth consecutive loss across the URC and Champions Cup.
Arendse’s lethal attacking skills were certainly missed, and White has already said that the Bok flyer, along with fellow Test player Canan Moodie, will be reintroduced to the Bulls side as soon as they complete the national team training camp in Stellenbosch later this week.
Arendse and Moodie are unlikely to feature in Sunday’s Currie Cup opener against the Pumas at Loftus, but should return for the next encounter against Western Province – also in Pretoria – on Friday, March 17, before the vital URC clash against Ulster in Belfast on Saturday, March 25.
“We are extremely proud of the incredible work that Kurt-Lee has put into his time here in Pretoria. In such a short space, he has become an integral part of our roster and a fan favourite for all those who frequent Loftus for entertaining rugby,” Rathbone said.
“We are grateful that he worked with us to ensure that his extension was a possibility because he is an internationally-acclaimed rugby star, so naturally we had to fend off numerous interests vying for his signature, both local and abroad.
“To have him commit to a further three seasons is a big plus for us as an organisation, and cements our home as the place for all international stars.
“We have (all) the confidence in the world that he will continue to add value to what we offer and in turn, we will continue to help him develop into this rugby star that he is destined to be.
“We wish him more success, and of course, we will be alongside him throughout his journey.”