Springbok scrumhalf Fourie du Preez will not be available for South Africa’s three Tri-Nations rugby matches in New Zealand and Australia next month.
Morris Gilbert writes in Beeld that Du Preez, one of the stars of the team that won the World Cup last year, will be out of action for at least four more weeks.
He has had surgery on his injured right hand and will not go on tour with the Springboks, who will face the All Blacks twice and the Wallabies in one Test .
“I’ve spoken to (Springbok coach) Peter de Villiers and he agrees that I should make my return at provincial level rather than at Test level,” Du Preez said at the Blue Bulls’ practice session on Tuesday.
If everything goes well, he should be able to play against the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld on July 12.
A plate and twelve screws have been inserted to mend the fracture in his hand. Now he is following a rehabilitation programme under the guidance of Basil Carzis, the Blue Bulls’ conditioning expert.
Lock forward Francois van Schouwenburg is overjoyed at being back with the Pretoria outfit after spending six months playing for a French club, Toulon.
Professional and advanced
“It was an interesting experience and I am happy that I have widened my horizons,” the big forward said on Tuesday.
“I only realised in France how privileged we are at the Bulls. Everything here is so much more professional and advanced.
“All that I’m sorry about is that I did not force myself to learn French. Our coach, (former All Black) Tana Umaga, spoke only English at training and someone then interpreted it into French for the local players, who were in the minority.”
Van Schouwenburg, a general practitioner, will start practising as a doctor only in July when he reports for his compulsory community-service year at the casualty section of the Pretoria Academic Hospital.
“I am back for the Currie Cup season but I will decide only at the end of the season which direction to follow as a doctor,” he said.
Blue Bulls captain Wikus van Heerden said Van Schouwenburg’s experience would be invaluable in the Currie Cup match against the Lions at Ellis Park on Saturday.
“Experience such as his is particularly important among the tight five, where things can become really hot,” Van Heerden added
Van Schouwenburg played in his 100th match for the Blue Bulls when the Lions came to Loftus Versfeld last year.
His lock partner for Saturday, Wilhelm Steenkamp, has a touch of flu and was unable to train on Tuesday. Team doctor Org Strauss believes he will be fit to play on Saturday.
The Blue Bulls team will be announced on Wednesday.Tweet