Hougaard commits to Bulls
Versatile back Francois Hougaard will stay at the Bulls until the end of the 2015 season, the Pretoria union confirmed on Thursday.
Despite receiving lucrative financial offers from overseas clubs, Hougaard said he had worked hard to make a name for himself at the Bulls and chose to extend his contract by another three years.
"This is where it all really started for me and in the last four years I have worked very hard in the structures to establish myself in the side," Hougaard said.
"I put a very high premium on hard work and the work ethic at the Bulls is something I feel very comfortable with. I know how hard not only the players, but the coaching staff, work to achieve results."
He said the possible departure of senior coaches had not influenced his decision.
The SA Rugby Union confirmed last week that new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer had earmarked four members of the Bulls coaching staff – Johann van Graan, Ricardo Loubscher, John McFarland and Basil Carzis – to join his management team.
"They deserve to be called to the Springboks," Hougaard said.
"Like players, coaches also have ambitions to be involved at the Springboks and I am very happy that they could realise their dreams. They deserve to be rewarded for their hard work."
He was also eager to step into a senior leadership role at the Bulls.
"It will be an honour to lead by example and continue the ethos of hard work and dedication," Hougaard said.
"I feel very proud to be associated with the Bulls."
Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke was pleased to retain Hougaard's services.
"This is exactly what we needed in a time of uncertainty with personnel," Ludeke said.
"Hougie is world class, there is no doubt about that, and to know that he is prepared to put his trust in us, is a massive boost for the franchise.
"He shares our vision with regards to achievement and success and I am sure he will be massively influential in our drive to be the leading force in Super Rugby."