World Cup winner Bismarck du Plessis has opted to stay with Montpellier rather than head home to South Africa and join the Cheetahs as was hoped by his former club and country colleague, Frans Steyn. Midfielder Steyn had told RugbyPass that the Bloemfontein-based Guinness PRO14 outfit had ambitions that the 2007 final-winning Springboks hooker could be tempted back south of the equator following five seasons in the French Top 14.
However, despite making his name during his eleven seasons at the Durban-based Sharks, du Plessis has decided that his future is best served by remaining in France under new club boss Philippe Saint-Andre rather than plump for a late-career swansong at the Cheetahs.
In a statement released by the French club ahead of the hooker’s 36th birthday on May 22, Montpellier said: ‘We announce the extension of Bismarck du Plessis’ contract for two more seasons. Having arrived in 2015, the world champion hooker has played 90 times in the Montpellier colours, establishing himself as one of the spearheads of the pack. He is now linked with Montpellier until 2022.
Steyn had been lobbying du Plessis in the belief that more old titans with experience of playing in Europe can make the crucial difference in making the Cheetahs more competitive in the PRO14.
“We need to win something,” said Steyn to RugbyPass. “I’m not going there just to roll over and die. We need to build something special, something that can last a long time. I played there when I was younger and it’s very close to my heart.
“I’m trying to get players to go back there, some of the older players. The money is the issue, but it will be good if we can get a Bismarck to come and help. The Cheetahs are playing against Leinster and Munster, a lot of international players, and you need quality and experience to win competitions.”
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