Bulls in bid to lure Du Preez

The Star Early Edition - - RUGBY - VATA NGOB­ENI

WORLD CUP win­ning Spring­bok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez could be mak­ing a re­turn to the Bulls for next year’s Su­per Rugby com­pe­ti­tion.

While noth­ing has been for­mally agreed be­tween Du Preez and his for­mer em­ploy­ers, Blue Bulls Company chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Barend van Graan yes­ter­day re­vealed that there is a pos­si­bil­ity that Du Preez could play for the Bulls in the lat­ter stages of Su­per Rugby ahead of the Rugby World Cup.

Du Preez, who is cur­rently con­tracted to Ja­panese club Sun­tory Sun­go­liath un­til early next year, was an in­te­gral mem­ber of the Bulls golden gen­er­a­tion be­tween 2003 and 2010 which won three Su­per Rugby ti­tles and four Cur­rie Cups while he was one of the stand­out play­ers in the Spring­boks 2007 Rugby World Cup tri­umph.

The 32-year-old Du Preez made a re­turn to the na­tional team last year after a two year hia­tus but suf­fered a sea­son end­ing an­kle in­jury dur­ing the June in­ter­na­tion­als against Scot­land in Port El­iz­a­beth.

Yes­ter­day, dur­ing the Bulls spon­sor­ship an­nounce­ment with car man­u­fac­turer Isuzu at Gerotek, Van Graan con­firmed that there is in­ter­est from the Bulls and that there have been in­for­mal dis­cus­sions with Du Preez.

“I’m not sure (if he will be play­ing for us next year). We’ve had dis­cus­sions with him but he isn’t sure what’s the role and where he is go­ing to play his rugby prior to Rugby World Cup,” Van said yes­ter­day.

Van Graan didn’t shy away from the fact that the Bulls would be de­lighted to have Du Preez back at Lof­tus Vers­feld, even if it is for the sec­ond half of Su­per Rugby.

“Al­ways,” said Van Graan on Du Preez be­ing wel­come in re­join­ing the team.

Van Graan ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of any new sign­ings at Lof­tus for the fore­see­able fu­ture after the Bulls ac­qui­si­tion of Spring­boks Adriaan Strauss and prop Trevor Nyakane along with fel­low Free State Chee­tahs team­mate Lap­pies Labaschagne.

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