Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez’s versatility offers Boks significant options for Lions series
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DURBAN – The recall of Dan and Jean-Luc du Preez to the Springbok squad is a reward for their consistently good form overseas and also due to the fact that their games have improved substantially since they joined Sale Sharks three years ago.
Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids says the 25-year-old twins from KZN had forced the Springbok door open and offered significant options to the Boks for the series against the British and Irish Lions because of their versatility and brute physicality.
In 2018, the year both played their last Tests for the Boks, the twins and their older brother, Robert, joined the Manchester team, and they have flourished in a fresh environment. — all three were schoolboy and Junior Boks stars out of Kearsney College in Durban and then played their senior rugby at the Sharks.
“I’ve worked with them at Under-20 level, they are quality rugby players, big and physical,” said Davids from the Boks’ base in Bloemfontein. “They are also excellent lineout forwards and ball-carriers; they are strong in contact and can both stop and give momentum.
“With them playing in Europe against quality opponents week in and week out, I think they have improved a lot in terms of upping their work rate, getting involved in battles, execution, versatility, and how they are used in the lineouts.”
Both of the twins have been used in the second row on occasion by Sale, particularly Jean-Luc who only played blindside flank in Durban. No 8 Dan had a little experience of lock before joining Sale.
“They offer us different dimensions, and it’s fantastic to see them making that step up and playing to their ability, so we’re looking forward to having them join us,” Davids added.