FILE - La Rochelle's French center Jules Favre (c) vies with Montpellier's South African lock Jacques Du Plessis during a French Top 14 rugby match. Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP
FILE - La Rochelle's French center Jules Favre (c) vies with Montpellier's South African lock Jacques Du Plessis during a French Top 14 rugby match. Photo: Pascal Guyot/AFP

Jacques du Plessis is an extremely physical and uncompromising player, says Jake White

By Ashfak Mohamed Time of article published Apr 14, 2021

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CAPE TOWN - One of the prodigal sons of Loftus Versfeld, Jacques du Plessis, is returning home.

The Bulls announced on Wednesday that the giant flank, who can also operate at lock, has signed a three-year deal with the Pretoria side, which will begin on July 1, after concluding his six-year association with French club Montpellier.

Du Plessis – who stands at 2.01m and weighs around 120kg – first made his name at the Bulls, where he played in Super Rugby, Currie Cup and Vodacom Cup from 2013 to 2015, having come through the junior ranks and the SA Under-20 and Schools sides.

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He played over 100 games for Montpellier, but was able to secure an early release from his contract, which was set to finish in June 2022.

“The Covid-19 crisis has changed my way of seeing things, and my career in particular,” Du Plessis said in a Montpellier statement recently.

“I left my home in 2015. I had a great experience here in Montpellier, but I feel that today is the time for my family and I to return home. I thank President (Mohed) Altrad for his confidence and wish a bright future to this club, which is somewhat mine.”

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He is the second top-quality loose forward who will join the Bulls in the coming months, with Bok flank Marcell Coetzee leaving Ulster on April 30 to continue his injury rehabilitation at Loftus Versfeld.

On Wednesday, coach Jake White expressed his delight in bringing Du Plessis on board.

“Having Jacques return to Loftus is testament to what we’re trying to establish in Pretoria… a franchise where players want to be! His ability to play as a loose forward and lock gives us depth amongst the forwards. Jacques is an extremely physical and uncompromising player, and we’re looking forward to his contributions in the #TrueToTheBlue jersey.”

But due to his July arrival, the 27-year-old Du Plessis will miss out on the Rainbow Cup, which starts next weekend, with the Bulls taking on the Lions at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday, April 24 (4pm kickoff).

@ashfakmohamed

IOL Sport

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