Du Preez to make WP his new home

2014-04-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — The son of a former Springbok scrumhalf and currently one of South Africa’s most promising flyhalves has decided to make Western Province his new rugby home.

Maties’ talented number 10, the 20-year old Robert du Preez, signed a contract with WP and will play his rugby in the Cape until at least 2016.

The Sharks have loaned Du Preez for the remainder of the Varsity Cup series to Maties, but the young player has decided to stay on in Cape Town. He is at the disposal of the WP selectors with immediate effect.

While performances during the Varsity Cup series do not necessarily guarantee success at Currie Cup or Super Rugby level, Du Preez, while wearing the maroon Maties jersey this year, displayed characteristics that make him a great asset to WP and possibly later to the Stormers.

He is an accurate goal kicker, can kick the ball over great distances, is big (1,92 m and 95 kg) and has regularly taken gaps.

His size means that he is able to play close to the advantage line, which makes him a sought-after player at senior level.

With Peter Grant and Demetri Catrakilis both performing with mixed success during the Stormers’ matches so far this year in their Super campaign, Du Preez’s development will be watched closely during the coming months.

The Stormers have for years — without success — been looking for a halfback combination that can dictate games, and Du Preez’s contract is definitely a promising move in the right direction.

The contract with Du Preez will, however, raise questions about the future at WP of flyhalves such as Gary van Aswegen and Kurt Coleman.

Du Preez would first have to prove his talent in WP’s under 21 team. With Ryno Eksteen expected to remain injured for a long time, Du Preez’s arrival is a temporary benefit for the union.

Du Preez has excelled as a junior for the Under 16 and Under 18 teams of KwaZulu-Natal.

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