Fourie du Preez looks to Japan

By admin
09 November 2010

A bright Pretoria day grew a little darker as one of the top rugby players in the world, Blue Bulls scrumhalf Fourie du Preez, announced, “After 11 years at the Bulls I’m affording myself the opportunity of a change of scenery and to expose myself to a different culture. This contract will allow me that.”

Because he’s not the attention-seeking type Fourie - South Africa’s player of the year for 2009 - chose to make his announcement on the Bulls’ website: he’ll quit the Bulls after next year’s Super 15 season and head to Japan after the 2011 Rugby World Cup. He’s now considering which club to play for.

“I think I can learn a lot and broaden my horizons in the game at the same time, which will help should I opt for a career in coaching later on,” he says.

After winning the Super 14 in 2007 and 2009 as well as three domestic Currie Cups with the Blue Bulls he wasn’t going to change to another South African union. “These were the best rugby years of my life and I could never have played for another union,” he wrote on the website.

And all over the capital city grown men at their computers must have choked back tears.

Graham Henry, the All Black coach, believes Fourie is the best scrumhalf in the world. Brian Ashton, former England coach, will tell you Fourie was the reason South Africa became world champs in 2007. Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer will add he’s the best number nine the country has produced.

If the fans at Loftus had been more alert the announcement wouldn’t have come as such a surprise. Last year Fourie mused, “Next year I’ll have been at the Bulls for 10 years. My contract runs out and I’m considering going abroad. Rugby gives you those opportunities but I might also decide to study for a degree in the financial world. I’ll keep my options open.”

Now Japan is waiting.

Read the full article in the latest issue of YOU, 15 April 2010.

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