Robert du Preez said despite his family connections at the Sharks in Durban, he wanted to experience a new challenge in England. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

LONDON – South African flyhalf Robert du Preez has signed a three-year deal with Sale, the English Premiership team announced on Monday.

The 25-year-old, whose father Robert also played for the Springboks, impressed the Sale hierarchy during a spell playing for them earlier this season.

Du Preez, who won the Currie Cup last year with a Sharks side coached by his father, will remain in South Africa until the end of the Super Rugby campaign.

“I’m delighted to have signed for Sale and was very flattered when Dimes (Sale’s director of rugby Steve Diamond) called and asked if I would consider joining the boys fulltime in Manchester,” Du Preez said in a club statement.

“It was an extremely difficult decision to leave the Sharks and Durban, especially with the family connections I have here.

“But I feel as though it is the right time in my career for a new challenge, a change of scenery, and feel I can continue to test myself in the Premiership after the taster I had in 2018.”

Diamond, whose side are presently eighth in the Premiership standings, said Du Preez, who has played one Test for South Africa, had shown himself to be in tune with the atmosphere at the club.

“He quickly established himself as an integral part of the match-day squad, and in his short time at the club, fitted into the environment seamlessly,” said Diamond.

“Rob is exactly the calibre of player we are looking for in our quest to challenge for the Premiership.”