Johannesburg - Springbok talisman Fourie du Preez will have at least one competitive game before he joins the national side again – for his Japanese club Suntory Goliath.
Du Preez told supersport.com he will head back to Japan in the next two weeks to rejoin the pre-season training camp for the club and has requested that he play at least one competitive game before heading to the Springbok camp next month.
The veteran scrumhalf, who is still rated as one of the best in the world, has not played for the past three months since the Japanese season ended and his club were ousted in the Cup competition.
He has had discussions with the Springbok management on the issue and they are happy for him to follow the route, the same one he has over the last two seasons before donning the green and gold again.
On both occasions Du Preez returned sharp and in form, and made a significant difference to the Bok set-up with his experience and vision on the field.
After he got injured last season, the Boks struggled with their kicking game and to gain momentum on the front foot, so it is no surprise they are keen to see him back in the fold.
There were rumours that Du Preez was going to join the Vodacom Bulls to play for the current Vodacom Super Rugby season but those stalled after initial discussions at Loftus, with the Bulls seemingly uninterested in pursuing it further.
Du Preez told supersport.com that the Bulls did come back to him after the initial discussion but the two parties couldn’t come to an agreement.
“Ideally I would have liked to play a few games, but their tour was at the end of the season and I decided it was more important to stay with my family, my time there is past,” Du Preez said, “Part of my decision was that I should do what I believe gives myself the best chance of playing international rugby again.”
Either way the Boks will be holding thumbs the Japanese match sharpens his skills and he comes through injury free, so that he is at his best again for the Springboks.