Thu, 24 Sep 2020

The 27-year-old playmaker, who is actually taller (1.91m) and heftier than Handre Pollard (98kg), is the closest South Africa will come to a like-for-like replacement for the incumbent.

He kicks well out of hand, stands tall in the collisions, relishes attacking the gain-line and his boot, in general, is metronomic.

It's indeed been an impressive 2019/20 campaign for Du Preez.

The former Matie is clearly the brain behind Sale's attacking game, boasting a Premiership-high eight try assists and rounding off two of his own.

Du Preez hasn't thrown a single failed pass in his 174 completed passes, pointing to his effective distribution, while making 187 running metres.

His completed tackle ratio of 84% is respectable.

A 116-point haul is the second highest for the season to date.

Whether Covid's untimely intrusion has broken Du Preez's momentum remains to be seen.

Springbok speculation is intriguing, but perhaps also fanciful.

Instead, the real triumph is that a talented player - much maligned for most of his career - is steadily realising his potential.

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