Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA
Picture: 123RF/RADUTUTA

Sharks loose-forward Springbok twins Jean-Luc and Daniel du Preez will join their brother Rob at Sale Sharks on a permanent basis following the termination of father Robert senior’s coaching duties at Kings Park.

On Wednesday the Sharks parted ways with Du Preez senior after a fractious time at the helm of the Super Rugby team. Hours later the twins were unveiled as Sale players.

Although there were platitudes in the official media release wishing each other well and so on‚ the reality is that Robert’s relationship with the Sharks board had completely broken down.

Outgoing CEO Gary Teichmann chose his words carefully when discussing coach Du Preez’s position. “We have reached an agreement with Robert going forward and he won’t be coaching next year‚” Teichmann said. “We haven’t looked beyond the Currie Cup [for a new coach] yet.”

That was it. No thank you or good luck.

Du Preez had also lost the support of the bulk of the dressing room‚ which in turn made the position of his sons a difficult one. Flyhalf Rob was at the centre of much of the discord during the 2019 Super Rugby campaign. Despite obvious poor form‚ he was consistently selected over the in-form Curwin Bosch.

Coaches have the prerogative to choose whom they like‚ but the waters were muddied by the familial connection and it became farcical when Du Preez junior played.

Fortunately Jean-Luc and Daniel were superb performers and were rightly picked when fit. But their position at the union had become untenable due to the fallout around their father.

Sale‚ who had originally contracted both Daniel and Jean-Luc on short-term contracts to cover the World Cup period‚ extended those offers to three years. Sale Sharks director of rugby Steve Diamond was especially pleased to tie Jean-Luc and Daniel down on long-term contracts.

“The twins joining the club on a permanent basis really completes the jigsaw in our pack so we can properly compete and challenge for silverware over the next few seasons‚” Diamond said. “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with the Sharks and I look forward to welcoming the boys in August.” 

Jean-Luc said: “I’m really excited and honoured to announce that I will be joining Sale Sharks again. I really enjoyed my short stint with the club late last year‚ so much so that I have decided to sign another contract in the UK. The club has set really high standards and the squad that has been built is really exciting and signals the clubs intent within the Premiership.”

Twin Brother Dan added: “I’ve heard some really good things about the club from Rob and Jean-Luc and can’t wait to link up with Sale in the winter and play some rugby with my brothers. I’m excited about the new challenge ahead in Manchester and can’t wait to test myself in one of the toughest leagues in the world.”