Bulls scrumhalf Francois Hougaard has signed a new three year contract with the Bulls keeping him in Pretoria for another three years.
The 24 year-old inked a new contract this week, which will see him stay at Loftus until October 2015, just after the next Rugby World Cup.
His agent Craig Livingston of Prosport International released a statement saying that, "The huge interest shown in Hougi illustrates what a star he is - and how highly-rated he is around the rugby world."
"The Bulls came to the party with a lucrative contract which is in line with his undoubted ability as well as his commercial appeal."
"He's taking on increased responsibility on the field and is working hard to achieve his aim of winning team and individual accolades with the Bulls".
The Bulls Super Rugby rivals the Stormers are said to have been interested in signing Hougaard which would have kept him in South African Super Rugby.
Hougaard said of the new signing, "Now that my contract is sorted out, I'm looking forward to getting the business done on the field. I'm always looking to improve as a player and am working hard on all areas of my game. "
"I want to be the best in the world in my position and I believe that the support structures that I have in place here at the Bulls will help me get there".
"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. "
"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 has not influenced his decision.
"They deserve to be called to the Springboks. 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 also feels humbled 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. I feel very proud to be associated with the Bulls."
Bulls head coach Frans Ludeke was relieved to have secured one of his stars, "This is exactly what we needed in a time of uncertainty with personnel."
"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."