Springbok tighthead prop Frans Malherbe has extended his stay at Western Province Rugby, the union announced on Tuesday.
Malherbe’s contract was set to expire this year and after being linked with a move to play club rugby in Japan, it is now believed that he will stay in the Mother City until the next World Cup in France in 2023.
The former Paarl Boys High scholar, 30, has represented the Stormers a total of 109 times – 15 behind the team’s most-capped star Schalk Burger.
Having made his debut for the team aged 20, Malherbe has now been propping up the Stormers scrum for 10 years already after coming through the age-group ranks.
Of his 38-cap Springbok re-signing, Stormers coach John Dobson says: “Frans has been central to the scrum culture that has been developed here over the last decade and will provide immense value to the development of the talented young props we have here.
“His contribution to the Stormers and the Springboks over the years has perhaps not been fully appreciated, but we understand just how fortunate we are to be able to draw on his skill and experience.”
A key member of the World Cup winning front-row at Japan 2019, Malherbe is the third Springbok to extend his deal at the union recently, with flyhalf-cum-fullback Damian Willemse and hooker Scarra Ntubeni signing fresh three-year deals.