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    Jean-Luc: Sharks deserve Bok training call-ups

    2017-03-29 11:12

    Durban - The Sharks have won four of their five matches in Super Rugby this season, and their good work is not going unnoticed. 

    When a 41-man Springbok training squad meets in Stellenbosch from Sunday to Tuesday, there will be no less than 13 Sharks in attendance. 

    One of those is the injured Pat Lambie, who is expected to attend even if he doesn't take part physically, but there is also reward for the likes of Curwin Bosch, Ruan Botha, Tera Mtembu and Kobus van Wyk. 

    The Bulls and Kings players were not eligible for this training squad due to their overseas commitments in Super Rugby, while there are 10 Stormers, 10 Lions and 8 Cheetahs in the squad. 

    It is all part of Bok coach Allister Coetzee's desperate attempt to turn around his side's fortunes in 2017 after they limped to just four wins from 12 in 2016. 

    Jean-Luc du Preez caught the back-end of that woeful year when he played off the bench for his Test debut in South Africa's season-ending 27-13 loss to Wales in Cardiff. 

    He is in the mix once again, and he believes the good work of his team-mates in Durban has paid off.

    "Ja, I guess you could say that," Du Preez said.

    "Some of the guys have put up their hands. As you've seen, Curwin Bosch is in and he's only 19-years-old so I think he's stood out quite a lot and he deserves it.

    "I think it's a chance for us all to grow."

    Before that, though, the Sharks have a massive Super Rugby clash against conference rivals the Lions in Johannesburg this weekend. 

    The Lions, like the Sharks, have also lost just once this season.

    "The Lions have got a few dangerous players all over the park," Du Preez said.

    "We're looking for a good, complete performance this weekend. I don't think we're too far off."

    One of the major differences between this year and last, Du Preez says, is that the Sharks have found a better balance between defence and attack.

    "Last year we were a bit more defensive orientated and I think we've shifted a bit more to the attack side this year so I think we're much more balanced," he said.

    The Durbanites are expected to name their side for the clash on Thursday, and one name that could be included in the starting line-up is that of Jean-Luc's twin brother Daniel du Preez. 

    Daniel du Preez has played off the bench in the Sharks' last two Super Rugby matches after having been on the sidelines for around 9 months after tearing his groin last season.

    "He was really frustrated. He was out for 10 months and I don't think that would be easy for anyone but he actually handled it quite well," Jean-Luc du Preez said of his brother.

    "I'm very happy to have him back on the field with me."

    Kick-off at Ellis Park on Saturday will be at 17:15.

    Invited players for the second Springbok camp in Stellenbosch (April 2-4):

    *Ruan Ackermann - Lions, Lukhanyo Am - Sharks, Clayton Blommetjies - Cheetahs, *Curwin Bosch - Sharks, Ruan Botha - Sharks, Uzair Cassiem - Cheetahs, Andries Coetzee - Lions, Ruan Combrinck - Lions, Ruan Dreyer - Lions, Jean-Luc du Preez - Sharks, Pieter-Steph du Toit - Stormers, Eben Etzebeth - Stormers, Rohan Janse van Rensburg - Lions, Elton Jantjies - Lions, Siya Kolisi - Stormers, Jaco Kriel - Lions, Pat Lambie - Sharks, Dillyn Leyds - Stormers, *Wilco Louw - Stormers, Frans Malherbe - Stormers, Lionel Mapoe - Lions, Malcolm Marx - Lions, Bongi Mbonambi - Stormers, Oupa Mohoje - Cheetahs, Beast Mtawarira - Sharks, Lubabalo Mtembu - Sharks, Lwazi Mvovo - Sharks, *Ox Nche - Cheetahs, Coenie Oosthuizen - Sharks, Etienne Oosthuizen - Sharks, Chiliboy Ralepelle - Sharks, Cobus Reinach - Sharks, Raymond Rhule - Cheetahs, Seabelo Senatla - Stormers, Kobus van Wyk - Sharks, Jano Vermaak - Stormers, Francois Venter - Cheetahs, Shaun Venter - Cheetahs, *EW Viljoen - Stormers, Warren Whiteley - Lions, Fred Zeilinga - Cheetahs

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