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Spies to stay with Bulls

Pierre Spies has committed his future to the Bulls by signing a contract extension that will keep him in Pretoria until the end of 2012.

The South Africa number eight has been a key component for club and country over the last few years, helping the Springboks overcome the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and also lift the Tri-Nations title that same year. At club level, he has been key to the Bulls winning back-to-back Super 14 titles.

Spies, who revealed that he turned down several lucrative offers to stay at Loftus Versfeld, said: "The quality of the players around me, the fantastic management structures and the achievements we have recorded all contributed to my decision."

He added: "It is very important in life to set high goals and this team does just that. I also came through the structures and want to remain part of it for a while longer.

"Now I can focus without any worries on doing what I am getting paid to do and play rugby to the best of my abilities."

The 25-year-old, who has been with the union since his primary school days, continued: "I have received numerous offers from abroad and other local unions, but it was quite easy to make this call."

His coach, Frans Ludeke, hailed the decision, saying: "It is a huge honour for a union if someone of Pierre's stature and talent finds himself comfortable in their environment and structures.

"He is a world-class player and also adds a massive amount off the field.

"We are very happy to retain his services."

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From Belfast Telegraph