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Bok prop signs long-term WP deal, named permanent Stormers captain

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Steven Kitshoff. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
Steven Kitshoff. (Photo by Sydney Seshibedi/Gallo Images)
  • Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff has signed a three-year contract extension with Western Province.
  • The World Cup winner has also been named permanent Stormers captain.
  • Lock Salmaan Moerat has been named Stormers vice-captain.

Springbok loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff has signed a three-year contract extension with Western Province Professional Rugby (WPPR) and has been appointed as the Stormers' permanent captain.

The Rugby World Cup-winner is no stranger to the role, having captained the Stormers regularly over the last year and, going forward, he will be supported by new vice-captain, Salmaan Moerat.

Kitshoff made his Stormers debut in 2012 as a fresh-faced 19-year-old and has since accumulated 101 caps for the team he grew up supporting.

His vice-captain, Moerat, also has extensive leadership experience, although still only 23, having captained SA Schools, the Junior Springboks and Western Province under-19 before leading the Stormers in two of their preparation matches this year.

Moerat is one of a number of players who are still under contract with WPPR until at least 2022, along with the likes of Herschel Jantjies, Warrick Gelant, Ruhan Nel, Sergeal Petersen, Marcel Theunissen, David Meihuizen and Rikus Pretorius.

Kitshoff's extension comes on the back of key players such as Damian Willemse, Scarra Ntubeni, Frans Malherbe, Seabelo Senatla, Neethling Fouche, Sazi Sandi, Leon Lyons, Nama Xaba, Kwenzo Blose and Evan Roos all committing their future to WPPR.

"Steven is a world-class player on top of his game who has the respect of everyone in the rugby world. To have a person of his calibre and deep connection to this team as our talisman going forward is immense," Stormers coach John Dobson said in a statement on the team's official website.

Dobson added: "Both Steven and Salmaan are proud products of our youth system and are inspirational figures both in our squad and for our faithful supporters. Their decision to remain with the Stormers is testimony to the good developmental work that has been carried out over the decades. We look forward to continue building off the rock-solid foundation they will provide for our team."

WPPR chairperson Ebrahim Rasool said leaders such as Kitshoff and Moerat will play an instrumental role in the further development of the squad.

"We have managed to assemble a formidable squad ahead of the upcoming Rainbow Cup and to have leaders such as Steven and Salmaan at the helm fills us with even more enthusiasm and optimism for the future.

"Both players are proud products of this region and are natural leaders who inspire those around them, we look forward to seeing where they can take us and our faithful supporters," Rasool said.

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