Jean-Luc du Preez added to Springbok squad

Utility forward Jean-Luc du Preez on Sunday became the latest addition to the Springbok squad following a successful start to the Rugby Championship this past weekend.

The 26-year-old lock/flank from English Premiership club Sale Sharks was part of the original Springboks squad this season for Test series against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions.

But he was among those released before the first Test against the Lions after picking up a minor knee injury, and returned to his club in northwest England.

Jean-Luc now follows in the footsteps of twin brother Dan, who was also part of the first squad only to be later released, then recalled.

After another Test in Gqeberha (formerly Port Elizabeth) against Argentina on Saturday, South Africa face two Tests each against Australia and New Zealand in those countries on consecutive weekends from 12 September.

“We have a physically demanding Rugby Championship campaign ahead, which includes a long tour,” head coach Jacques Nienaber said in a statement.

“Given the strict protocols in place to call up players to Australia due to the pandemic, we opted to draft Jean-Luc into the group sooner rather than later.

“He is a seasoned player and understands the demands of playing competitions such as this, and over and above that he is familiar with our structures.”

South Africa won the 2019 Rugby Championship, reduced to a single round because of limited time due to the Rugby World Cup in Japan, but were unable to take part in the rejigged Tri-Nations last year due to the coronavirus.

© Agence France-Presse

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Craig Lewis