Another setback has hit the Bokke just a few days before they play Wales. Fourie du Preez, the South African Super14 player of the year and probably the best scrumhalf in the world, has officially been withdrawn from the squad due to injury. Du Preez injured his shoulder during the latter part of the Bulls victorious Super14 campaign and took another knock to the shoulder during the RWC group game against England. The injury is to the AC joint and Du Preez should avoid any contact to the joint for 6-8 weeks according to Bulls team doctor, Tommy Smook. Du Preez is hoping to be fit for the start of the 2008 Super14 to help his franchise defend their title. No replacement will be named for Du Preez and either Ricky Januarie or Ruan Pienaar will start the game against Wales. Du Preez’s withdrawal now brings to 12 the number of World Cup winning Springboks not making the end of year tour.
Date of birth: 24/3/1982
Test caps: 34
Test Debut: Ireland, 2004
Test points: 30
Current Club: Bulls
Strengths: Du Preez plays a complete game: he breaks well, has good pace, a tactical brain and shows a maturity beyond his years. His exciting, unpredicatable and effective style of play makes him one of the major game breakers in the Springbok backline.
Weaknesses: Fat chance of any flaws after been hailed as the best scrum-half in the world.
Likely headline: ‘Du Preez passes with an ‘A’ against Samoa and England’
Did you know: Fourie du Preez is the nephew of Springbok legend Frik du Preez.
In 2006 Fourie du Preez was voted SA Rugby Player of the year by the South African Rugby Football Union