Cape Town - Sale Sharks have announced the signing of Sharks flyhalf Rob du Preez on a three-year deal.
According to the Sale Sharks website, Du Preez will be re-joining the Premiership club after the 2019 Super Rugby campaign concludes after an impressive loan spell in Manchester earlier this season.
The 25-year-old flyhalf started his career with the Western Province and the Stormers in Cape Town, making 57 appearances over 4 years, scoring 483 points. He then went on to join the Sharks in Durban at the start of the 2018 season, where he won the Currie Cup under the tutelage of his father, Robert snr, before spending a short time on loan with Sale in the Gallagher Premiership at the end of the year.
He instantly impressed, often in adverse conditions, scoring 81 points in 9 games for the Manchester-based side.
Commenting on the announcement, Du Preez said: “I’m delighted to have signed for Sale and was very flattered when Dimes (Sale Sharks’ Director of Rugby Steve Diamond) called and asked if I would consider joining the boys full-time in Manchester.
It was an extremely difficult decision to leave the Sharks and Durban, especially with the family connections I have here but I feel as though it is the right time in my career for a new challenge, a change of scenery and feel I can continue to test myself in the Gallagher Premiership after the taster I had in 2018.
The club has extremely high ambitions and with the calibre of signings that Sale are making I feel I can play a big part in the future of the club and can’t wait to get started in the UK.
In the meantime, I am fully committed to the Sharks here in South Africa and will give everything I have during this year’s Super Rugby season and hopefully build on last year’s win in the Currie Cup to produce some more special memories before I leave.”
Diamond added, “Rob came to us last year from the Sharks with an outstanding pedigree and impressed everybody here at Sale from day one.
He quickly established himself as an integral part of the matchday squad and in his short time at the club fitted into the environment at Carrington seamlessly. Rob is exactly the calibre of player we are looking for in our quest to challenge for the Gallagher Premiership and we look forward to welcoming him back to Carrington after the conclusion of the 2019 Super Rugby competition.”
Du Preez’s deal is expected to form part of a signing spree from Sale, as it's believed that his twin loose forward brothers, Jean-Luc and Dan, could also be signed on short-term deals, while Sharks hooker Akker van der Merwe and Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff have also been linked with the big-spending English club.