Western Province captain Deon Fourie has made a dramatic about turn on his decision to join French club Toulon.
WP Rugby Managing Director Rob Wagner confirmed to this website that Fourie, who will lead the team in the Currie Cup Final against the Sharks in Durban, will be available for the Stormers and Province next year.
"He has indicated that he wants to stay," Wagner said, when asked about Fourie's plans, adding: "It is finalised."
Fourie, who prefers hooker but has featured mostly at loose forward during the Currie Cup season, was set to join tabled-topping French club Toulon - which has on its books other South Africans like Bakkies Botha and Joe van Niekerk.
However, his incredible run as captain of the Cape Town franchise this season has resulted in a dramatic about turn.
It is expected that he will revert back to his favoured position of hooker next year when a number of frontline loose forwards return from injury.
Wagner also revealed that Springboks Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute - who are expected to join the Stormers on loan from the Lions for the 2013 Super Rugby season - have yet to put pen to paper.
Despite numerous media reports quoting the players and their agents that they will play for the Stormers next year, Wagner said nothing is finalised yet.
"Until I see a signature on a piece of paper, I don't take anything as definite," Wagner told this website, adding: "I have no signatures on any pieces of paper.
"I have been in the game long enough to know that until you have something on paper that's the only time you make a comment."
Wagner said other than the last "couple of guys that we are in talks with", they have come to the end of our contracting.
"There are no extras [additional players] above that [Taute and Jantjies]," he added.
Taute’s agent has bee quoted in the media in recent days that the 21-year-old will join the Stormers on a loan deal from the Lions.
The players suggested he would consider staying on in Cape Town if all goes well.
“My contract with the Lions expires next season,” Taute was quoted as saying in the local media.
“So I could stay on with the Stormers if I wanted to. But we will see how things go in 2013."
As this website reported two weeks ago, Taute may be seen as a 'utility back' in the Springbok set-up, but he has been guaranteed a starting spot in his preferred position of fullback at the Stormers.
This website can reveal that Jantjies has been promised the Stormers No.10 jersey and a regular starting spot ahead of the franchise's Japan-based Bok Peter Grant - who will again miss the first few weeks of the Super Rugby season while he fulfils his obligations with his club abroad.
By Jan de Koning
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