South African Rugby
Du Preez off to Japan post World Cup
March 18, 2010
Fourie du Preez will head to Japan following the 2011 World Cup © Getty Images
Fourie du Preez will take up a contract with a Japanese club following the 2011 Rugby World Cup.
The Springbok scrum-half has signed a deal with the Bulls and the South African Rugby Union (SARU) to take him through to the World Cup in 2011, after which he will head for Japan.
Du Preez will leave the Bulls at the conclusion of the 2011 Super 15 and has announced his decision now in order for the franchise to secure a suitable replacement.
"These were the best rugby years of my life and I could never have played for another union," he said. "By revealing my plans for the future now, it will give the Bulls sufficient time to plan for the future and possible successors. There are already some excellent players like Francois Hougaard knocking on the door, so it is time to move on.
"I was happy to be involved with the Bulls during arguably the best era they have ever had. It remains a massive honour to be part of the structures started and maintained by world-class coaches such as Heyneke Meyer and Frans Ludeke. The leadership of Victor Matfield and the bond between the team members is also something I will always treasure."
Du Preez is also eyeing a second World Cup, having played a pivotal role in the Boks' 2007 triumph before spearheading their 2009 series win over the British & Irish Lions and a Tri-Nations title.
"There is the chance to play in another World Cup, but also the knowledge that I will enjoy the experience," he said. "Last season was the most enjoyable I have had in the Bok jersey and think Peter de Villiers deserve a lot of credit for that. I feel we have the experience and core group in the team to make a serious run at the Webb Ellis trophy again."
The decision to move to Japan was also an easy one, with du Preez keen to broaden his horizons ahead of a possible coaching career.
"After 11 years at the Bulls, I am affording myself the opportunity to change the scenery and to expose myself to a different culture. This contract will allow me that," he said. "I think I can learn a lot and broaden my horizons in the game at the same time, which will help should I opt for a career in coaching later on in my life."