Du Preez to end Super Rugby career

2011-06-07 00:00

SPRINGBOK and Vodacom Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez (29) says that he is relieved to be playing in his final season of the Vodacom Super Rugby tournament.

Du Preez, who earlier this year announced that he will be continuing his career in Japan after the Rugby World Cup, joined the ever-growing list of Super Rugby casualties when he sustained a serious knee injury in last month’s 32-23 win over the Sharks in Durban.

He suffered a grade two medial ligament tear, which will keep him out of action for at least four to six weeks and could subsequently bring his Super Rugby swansong to a premature end.

The Super Rugby centurion says that due to the continuous lingering of the tournament and the escalating physical toll it takes on a player, he’s glad to be ending this chapter of his career.

“I’m happy that it’s my last year in Super Rugby,” said Du Preez.

“There’s been so much talk of too much rugby being played and every couple of years the decision is made to prolong the season.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to have played several seasons of Super Rugby, but I can’t see any player playing six, seven, eight years of the expanded tournament,” added Du Preez.

Du Preez has given Francois Hougaard an extended run at scrumhalf as the Bulls fight to retain their Super Rugby title.

The versatile youngster is a contrasting player to Du Preez in that he likes to play a more attack-orientated game, which doesn’t necessarily fit into the current game plans implemented by the Bulls and the Boks, who rely on Du Preez’s unrivalled tactical nous.

The 2007 World Cup winner, however, doesn’t perceive this as a negative to either team and urged Hougaard to continue to play to his strengths.

“Francois does bring something different to the table. He’s a very good all-round player with great speed as he’s shown on the wing.

“As a scrumhalf, I don’t think he should get stuck on the tactical side of things, he should just play his natural game, and I’m sure the coaches will back him to do that as well,” said Du Preez.

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