United Rugby Championship

Young guns Smit, Venter sign new Stormers deals

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Promising centre Cornel Smit and hooker Andre-Hugo Venter are the latest young guns to sign contract extensions with the Stormers.

The duo made the step-up to senior rugby with aplomb and featured in the Stormers' victorious United Rugby Championship campaign.

Smith, 24, represented Western Province at Craven Week in 2015 and came through the junior age-group ranks at the union while also featuring in midfield for Maties in the Varsity Cup. He made his  Stormers debut in 2020 and is one of a number of homegrown talents in the current squad.

Venter, the son of former Springbok flank Andre Venter, is technically still a junior player at the age of just 20, but has already made his mark at senior level.

He has shown maturity beyond his years and featured prominently at the business-end of the URC, scoring a crucial try in the Stormers' 18-13 win over the Bulls in the final.

Stormers head coach John Dobson was happy to secure the two players' services.

He told the Stormers' official website: "Cornel is a smart player who is poised to take his career to the next level, so we are glad that will be here where he has played all of his rugby.

"Andre-Hugo is an immensely exciting prospect who has a very bright future ahead of him. We are thrilled to keep both of these players in our system and expect big things of both of them."

Smit said he was delighted to stay at the team he supported as a young boy.

"As a local boy I always dreamed of playing for the Stormers and it is great to have the backing of the coaches going forward," he said.

Venter added: "I could not be happier with where I am with my rugby at the moment. I was really backed after coming back from injury this season and I want to contribute as much as I can to the team in the seasons ahead."

Meanwhile, the Stormers also confirmed that winger Sergeal Petersen and centre Rikus Pretorius would further their careers in Japan.


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