Bulls lock in ‘future Bok’ Elrigh Louw on long-term deal

Bulls lock in ‘future Bok’ Elrigh Louw on long-term deal

On Tuesday, the Bulls stated that they were “excited to confirm the landmark signing”, which sees the 22-year-old loose-forward extending his stay in Pretoria by five more years.

Louw is one of the Bulls’ most exciting young talents and has proven himself as one of the country’s top talents, with coach Jake White hailing the commitment by the youngster to extend his stay in Pretoria for a further five years.

“We cannot stress the importance of reaching this landmark agreement with one of the best talents in South Africa at the moment

“It is not often that, in this competitive era, we see players committing to long-term contracts like Elrigh has done. This is important not only for the Bulls, where Elrigh is set to grow and become an integral part of the team, but also for South African rugby.

“We believe that Elrigh is a certain future Springbok, who can go on to play many test matches for the Boks. It is also great to see such talent choosing to remain in South Africa despite being sort after by some of the top clubs globally.”

In recent weeks, the South African teams have begun to flex their muscles in the United Rugby Championship (URC), with the Bulls, Sharks, Stormers and Lions all picking up some impressive wins. There is no doubt that the Boks’ coaching staff will have been keeping a close eye on these recent performances, particularly as the incoming July Tests against Wales draw closer.

For quite some time, there has been plenty of interest in identifying who could be the ideal successor to Duane Vermeulen, and Louw is very quickly emerging as the ideal candidate.

The talented 22-year-old boast immense raw potential, and he has consistently been one of the Bulls’ standout performers for the last couple of seasons.

Boasting plenty of physicality, he is a powerful ball carrier and strong defender who has surely done enough to earn a look-in when the Springboks begin their training camps later this year.

Stormers: Evan Roos

Similarly to Louw, Evan Roos – who can cover all three back-row positions as well as lock – looks best suited to the No 8 position, and offers another highly appealing option for the Boks.

His try against the Scarlets recently demonstrated just why he is so highly regarded, with the youngster boasting pace and power in equal measure.

He’s the sort of “warrior” who is sure to be on the radar of Bok bosses Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus, who will be thrilled with the local talent emerging in the back row department.

Sharks: Grant Williams

For Williams, this season has been potentially career-defining, with the 25-year-old earning his place as the Sharks’ first-choice scrumhalf amid plenty of competition.

With real pace, a strong pass and a solid kicking game, there is good reason that Williams could be starting to attract national attention.

For quite some time, Faf de Klerk, Cobus Reinach and Herschel Jantjies have been the three scrumhalves backed by the Boks, but the latter has been battling to find his best form for the Stormers.

Jaden Hendrikse is another strong contender at national level, which again highlights the depth the Springboks have at scrumhalf. However, it increasingly appears that Williams could force his way into the national picture by the time the July Tests against Wales roll around.

Lions: Edwill van der Merwe

A few years ago, the Boks took something of a gamble by providing speedster Cheslin Kolbe with an opportunity at international level, and it proved to be a stunning masterstroke.

Increasingly, there is a very real sense that Van der Merwe – who shares many similarities with Kolbe – could also excel on the Test stage.

Besides his out-and-out pace, the 25-year-old is fearless on defence and under the high ball, while he has proven to be one of the most lethal finishers among all local wingers.

If the Boks are looking at another wing option, there is little doubt that Van der Merwe should be coming into the selection conversation.

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