Pretorius to make debut in SA

2010-01-19 09:16
Back in SA (File)
Perth - Former Springbok flyhalf Andre Pretorius will make his debut for the Western Force on the team’s pre-season tour to South Africa.

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Pretorius, who left the Lions last year for a lucrative contract in Perth, is keen to get out of the starting blocks for his new side, especially after training in 40-degree plus heat in the Western Australian capital.

The Force will play in the Neo Africa Tri-Series against the Sharks and Stormers over the next week and Pretorius is looking forward to playing in more familiar conditions.

"The weather is definitely a bit cooler there. It's about 24 in Cape Town today (Tuesday), but I'm looking forward to going there," Pretorius told the Western Force’s official website. "It will be quite strange going back and playing for another country's franchise as opposed to being with a local franchise for 11 years."

The Bok flyhalf, who was part of Jake White’s World Cup-winning squad of 2007, and who played 31 times for the Springboks, is still unsure how his countrymen will receive him.

"I have no idea what reception I will get," he said.

"Honestly I have thought about it, but I have no idea. I'm guessing it will be quite warm, so to speak, but it will be strange and something I never thought I would experience."

Pretorius believes the move to the Force has rejuvenated his career -- especially as he can move “under the radar” with Rugby Union not receiving the same prominence in Perth as it does in Johannesburg.

"It's quite refreshing as opposed to being in Jo'burg in a rugby mad country. You do sneak under the radar a bit more here, but the lifestyle change has been quite significant for me for the better," he said. "I never got to go to the beach after training or to play nine holes after training, so it has been quite nice."

The Force head to Cape Town on Tuesday evening to play two trial matches, firstly against the Stormers on Saturday, January 23, and then against the Sharks on Tuesday, January 26. It will then be back to Perth for a final hit out against the Reds on February 5.


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