The Stormers, and South African rugby in general, received a huge boost on Friday when it was announced that star Springbok Damian Willemse has committed his future to the franchise for the next five years.

The Stormers confirmed in a social media post that the 24-year-old had signed a contract extension that will keep him in Cape Town until 2027.

Willemse was a key member of the Stormers’ United Rugby Championship (URC)-winning squad last season, and he has been recalled to the starting lineup for Saturday’s match against Edinburgh at Cape Town Stadium.

“We have always recognised the potential of a player like Damian, who possesses all of the world’s talent. It has been a privilege to watch him develop over the last five years into the ultimate professional, and we are grateful that he has chosen to remain loyal to the only team he has ever played for “According to coach John Dobson.

Damian has a huge influence on those around him, and that influence will only grow in the next five years as we strive to take this team to new heights.

Willemse expressed his joy at committing to the team he had supported as a child.

“It has always meant a lot to me to play for the Stormers, so I am very happy to know that I will be around for what will be a very bright future,” he said.

“The players and management here are constantly pushing each other to raise standards, and I’m excited to be a part of that for the next five years.”

Willemse, who has played fullback and flyhalf for the Springboks this season, will return to the No. 12 jersey on Saturday.

Stormers squad:

Clayton Blommetjies, 15 Suleiman Hartzenberg (14), Dan du Plessis (13), Damian Willemse (12). Angelo Davids, 11 Manie Libbok, 10 Paul de Wet, 9 Evan Roos, 8 Dayimani, 7 Hacjivah 5 Marvin Orie, 6 Deon Fourie (captain), Salmaan Moerat (four), Neethling Fouche (three), Joseph Dweba (two), and Ali Vermaak (one).

16 Andre-Hugo Venter, 17 Brok Harris, 18 Sazi Sandi, 19 Adre Smith, 20 Ernst van Rhyn are the substitutes. Junior Pokomela, 21 23 Sacha Mngomezulu, 22 Herschel Jantjies

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