Lionel Mapoe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN PRETORIUS
Lionel Mapoe. Picture: GALLO IMAGES/JOHAN PRETORIUS

Elton Jantjies and Lionel Mapoe have finally opted to extend their stay in the Lions’ den.

Both concluded contract extensions with the union and will remain at Ellis Park until at least the end of next season.

Flyhalf Jantjies and centre Mapoe are both in the Springbok squad that will take on Argentina in Durban on Saturday.

Their selection for the Boks helped secure their immediate future with the Lions. Due to their involvement with the Springboks, their Super Rugby income will be augmented by SA Rugby.

Before the contracts were concluded, Lions CEO Rudolf Straeuli said the SA Rugby agreement was the only outstanding issue in the pair concluding new deals with the Super Rugby franchise.

Unlike previous seasons, Jantjies (NTT Shining Arcs) and Mapoe (Kubota Spears) did not have contracts to play in Japan over the next few months.

Japan’s top clubs are increasingly reluctant to contract foreign players who may be called up for their national team.

By not travelling to Japan‚ however‚ the players increase the possibility of earning selection for the Bok team to the 2019 Rugby World Cup.

Solid performances for the Boks now will hugely enhance their chances in 2019‚ but both players have some ground to make up to be regarded as first-choice selections.

The pair have been central to the Lions’ determined march to the Super Rugby final over the past three years. Jantjies has been the team’s playmaker since 2011, the same year Mapoe joined the team.

TimesLIVE