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Kurt-Lee Arendse has made a decision on his post-World Cup future

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Craig Mercer/MB Media/Getty Images)

Springboks winger Kurt-Lee Arendse has confirmed what he will do after the upcoming Rugby World Cup finals in France, agreeing to a three-year deal to stay on at the Pretoria-based Bulls. The decision comes just four months after he endorsed his status as a new world star with a fabulous try away to England at Twickenham in the Autumn Nations Series.

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A statement read: “The Vodacom Bulls are happy to confirm that Kurt-Lee Arendse, the Springboks star and Pretoria-loved speedster, has extended his stay by agreeing to a new long-term contract. The 26-year-old Paarl native initially joined the Bulls in August of 2020 and since arriving in Pretoria, Arendse has become a vital member of the first team, earning 31 caps in all competitions.

“A Blitzbok, Arendse received his maiden Springboks call-up in July 2022, making his debut against Wales, and has gone on to earn seven enthralling caps for his country, establishing himself as an international star.

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“Arendse boasts multiple Sevens World Series tournament victories, a Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup winners medal holder whilst also featuring as one of the club’s success catalysts in the debut season of the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.”

Bulls CEO Edgar Rathbone said: “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.

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“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 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.”

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Bulls director of rugby Jake White added: “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.

“Kurt-Lee is a brilliant player with the ability to change the game, finding ways to create something out of moments of need 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.”

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Flankly 3 hours ago
Resilient Irish will test Springboks despite provincial setbacks

The Bok kryptonite is complacency. How did they lose to Japan in 2015, or to Italy in 2016? There are plenty of less dramatic examples. They often boil down to the Boks dialing back their focus and intensity, presuming they can win with less than 100% commitment. This can be true of most teams, but there is a reason that the Boks are prone to it. It boils down to the Bok game plan being predicated on intensity. The game plan works because of the relentless and suffocating pressure that they apply. They don’t allow the opponent to control the game, and they pounce on any mistake. It works fantastically, but it is extremely demanding on the Bok players to pull it off. And the problem is that it stops working if you execute at anything less than full throttle. Complacency kills the Boks because it can lead to them playing at 97% and getting embarrassed. So the Bulls/Leinster result is dangerous. It’s exactly what is needed to introduce that hint of over-confidence. Rassie needs to remind the team of the RWC pool game, and of the fact that Ireland have won 8 of the 12 games between the teams in the last 20 years. And of course the Leinster result also means that Ireland have a point to prove. Comments like “a club team beating a test team” will be pasted on the changing room walls. They will be out to prove that the result of the RWC game truly reflects the pecking order between the teams. The Boks can win these games, but, as always, they need to avoid the kryptonite.

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