Springboks

Fourie could have RWC role

2013-08-06 16:30
Fourie du Preez (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer says he included scrumhalf Fourie du Preez with the possibility of utilising him in the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England

The 31-year-old Du Preez was on Sunday included in Meyer's Bok squad for the home leg of the Rugby Championship. He will join the squad next Monday, along with eight other overseas players. Only 21 of the 30 members are training together in Johannesburg this week.

Du Preez has not represented the Boks since the last World Cup in New Zealand two years ago, and has plied his trade at Japanese club, Suntory Sungoliath, in recent years.

But Meyer is confident the scrumhalf will be able to perform at an adequate level and hopes he plays well enough with an eye on the World Cup in two years' time.

"I still believe he is one of the best scrumhalves in the world and with Francois Hougaard injured, we have a shortage in the position," Meyer told the Beeld website.

"I want to make sure that I take the best No 9 to the World Cup - therefore I will now get a chance to take a thorough look at Fourie.

"Some critics will point to the fact that he plays at a lower level (in Japan), but just look at what a guy like George Smith, who played for the same club (Suntory), achieved at the Brumbies."

Du Preez will only be available for South Africa's home Tests in the Rugby Championship. Ruan Pienaar and Jano Vermaak are the other scrumhalves in the Bok squad.

The Boks start their campaign against Argentina at FNB Stadium on Saturday, August 17.

The 30-man Springbok squad for the first two legs of the Rugby Championships:

Backs: Bjorn Basson, JJ Engelbrecht, Bryan Habana, Juan de Jongh, Zane Kirchner, Patrick Lambie, Ruan Pienaar, Fourie du Preez, Willie le Roux, Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Jano Vermaak, Jean de Villiers (captain)

Forwards: Willem Alberts, Marcell Coetzee, Eben Etzebeth, Siya Kolisi, Juandre Kruger, Francois Louw, Flip van der Merwe, Franco van der Merwe, Tendai Mtawarira, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Bismarck du Plessis, Jannie du Plessis, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Adriaan Strauss, Gurthrö Steenkamp, Duane Vermeulen

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