The X-factor

What makes Fourie du Preez the best scrumhalf on the planet?

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Over the past three seasons Du Preez has evolved from being a talented member of both the Bulls and Boks to being their fulcrum.

Understated in his approach, this silent assassin gets the job done with ruthless efficiency, and, like the premier players in world rugby, his value is only fully appreciated in his absence.

SA Rugby magazine talks to Jake White (the international coach), Heyneke Meyer (the lifelong mentor) and Eddie Jones (the independent view) to find out what makes Du Preez so technically brilliant.

Also in the new issue, on sale this week:

Percy Montgomery on his new role with the Boks, the importance of having a reliable goal-kicker and why routine is so vital.

– Nine years after his first tour to South Africa, Andy Sheridan is back on safari. And England’s giant Lion has the scent of Springbok in his nostrils…

schalk1– Why nobody deserves the Springbok No 6 jersey ahead of Schalk Burger.

– The 1974 Lions broke down barriers, stayed out all night, and savaged the Springboks. We look back on the ‘greatest tour’.

– Why the Boks will not win the 2009 Tri-Nations if they adopt the high-risk approach that saw them self-destruct in 2008.

Stephen Donald is ready to fill Dan Carter’s boots for the All Blacks.

Ben Alexander was selected for the Wallabies last year after making just six appearances for the Brumbies off the bench. Now, having held his own against the likes of France and Italy, and played another season of Super 14 rugby, he’s eager to test himself in the Tri-Nations.

morneRobbie Fleck joins the Western Province management having worked wonders with the UCT backline in the Varsity Cup. The former Bok centre explains why the conservative and expansive styles need to co-exist, how club rugby has shaped him as a coach and why WP have an outside chance of winning the Currie Cup.

– How Morné Steyn became a kicking machine.

– Springbok Sevens coach Paul Treu on capturing the World Series title for the first time, the players who were crucial to their success, and why his side will not stagnate.

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