For the 2014 Currie Cup-winning Western Province side, there were three big farewells – big in every sense of the word.
Three front row forwards have brought down the curtain on their stellar careers in the Western Cape – two are heading abroad (Pat Cilliers and Brok Harris), whilst one (Tiaan Liebenberg) has retired from the game of rugby.
However, whilst three warhorses depart Cape Town, WP had already announced the signing of powerful Bulls hooker Bongi Mbonambi earlier this year, with highly-rated SA Under-20 tighthead prop Wilco Louw also making the move down to the Cape from Pretoria ahead of next year.
On the new signings, WP Director of Rugby Gert Smal commented: “We’re excited at the prospect of Bongi playing his rugby in the Cape. We’ve tracked his progress and believe that he can reach his full potential here.
“Wilco Louw is also a big prospect and will bolster our tight five. He was a key member of the SA Under-20 team at tighthead prop this year and will be returning to the Cape to further his career and will add quality in a key position like tighthead (prop).”
Pat Cilliers spent two seasons in the Cape and his impact was huge – both on and off the field. He played in two Currie Cup Finals for WP and, this season especially, contributed hugely to the leadership group as vice-captain.
The 27-year-old, capped six times by