Du Preez denies injury gamble

Fourie du Preez has stated that he has not been rushed back to fitness prematurely.

Predictions ranging from a couple of weeks to six months on the sidelines following Du Preez’s freak knee injury – suffered during training – has led to concerns that he has been rushed back too quickly because of a leadership vacuum in the side.

Speaking to Beeld, however, Du Preez dismissed the suggestion.

“I’m not as sharp as I would like to be and I’m definitely not happy with my passing, but my knee doesn’t trouble me at all. I took part in the training sessions on Monday and Tuesday without any pain or discomfort,” Du Preez said.

“If the same knee is injured again, it will be as a result of a freak accident and not carelessness.”

Du Preez will captain the Bully Boys in Bloemfontein on Friday, and offers a sensible view on the fixture.

“We’re playing the Cheetahs without some of our biggest names, but on the other hand it’s an opportunity for their replacements to show what they can do.

“You could feel this week how determined the inexperienced members of our team are not to buckle under the pressure from the Cheetahs,” Du Preez said, before emphasising the importance of the entire side performing and not certain elements.

“Not only the front row, but all of us will have to display guts and character, because as individuals we won’t be able to do a thing. We have to play together as a team.”

Du Preez admitted the Bulls have prepared for a kicking onslaught.

“We heard the halves will be Michael Claassens and Willem de Waal. Both of them know how to attack with the boot.

“We’re not expecting any favours, because you don’t win the Currie Cup if you’re not an extraordinary team. It will be a rock hard and merciless game. They’ve got a good tight five, which could make it possible for their halves to dictate play.”