Pretoria - Springboks Embrose Papier and Warrick Gelant have pledged their commitment to the Bulls by signing contract extensions.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd announced on Wednesday that scrumhalf that Papier, a debutant for the Springboks in 2018, has signed on until 2021, while fullback Gelant will continue representing the Bulls until at least 2020.
It is believed that the Stormers were interested in signing the duo, but they declined the offers.
A few other players also extended their stay with the Bulls.
Prop Conraad van Vuuren, centre/wing Johnny Kotze signed until 2020, as did Junior Springboks, Ruan Nortje and Mornay Smith.
Nortje, who plays as a lock, made his Super Rugby and Currie Cup debut this year, with prop Smith also representing the Bulls for the first time.
The Bulls also confirmed the signing of current Junior Springboks prop, Alulutho Tshakweni, with the former Eastern Province player signed until the end of the season.
"We are very happy about the extended contracts signed by Embrose and Warrick. It is fitting that they became Springboks with us and that they will remain Bulls players as their international careers take off. It is great to have a number of experienced international players in your squad and this will help in our goal to build a squad that can win the Super Rugby title again," said high performance manager, Xander Janse van Rensburg.
“It is always a good feeling and a true reflection of what is brewing within the walls of Loftus, when your star players see their future with this union.”
Janse van Rensburg added: "Johnny and Conraad were great for us this year showing their true worth at Super Rugby level, and they will continue to develop and grow here, while Ruan and Mornay are amongst the most talented youngsters I have seen in recent seasons, so it is great to have them around for the foreseeable future."
Gelant said he was happy to stay in Pretoria: “It’s an exciting time to be part of this team. There’s something special happening at Loftus, and I’m looking forward to remaining a part of it. I am privileged to play the game I love, with the people I consider close to my heart, and more importantly for the fans that give us this opportunity to live our dreams.”
Meanwhile, the BBC also confirmed that utility back Ulrich Beyers was released to the Southern Kings with immediate effect, while loose forward Abongile Nonkontwana is on trial with the Free State Cheetahs.
"The Bulls family would like to wish these two gentlemen everything of the best with the next steps of their careers, and sincerely thanks them for their contributions to the brand," the union said via a press statement.