Edinburgh signing Cornell du Preez will arrive from South Africa on a double mission – to make a mark at domestic level and aspire to Scotland caps.
The concept of back rower Du Preez succeeding in Scotland where he failed to interest the Springbok selectors is being outlined today in South African media interviews with the president of the player’s former club, Southern Kings.
Although no direct quotes are attributed to Cheeky Watson, a report published in the Port Elizabeth Herald says: “Watson said he knew that Du Preez aspired to build towards playing for Scotland, and did not feel that he would be given the opportunity to play for the Springboks, because of the current depth of loose forwards, if he remained in South Africa.”
The article does quote Mr Watson as saying: “We wish him everything of the best. This is a great opportunity for him and it would not be right for us to stand in his way,” he said.
Scottish Rugby has made no secret of its desire for so-called “project” signings who can qualify to wear the thistle after a three-year residency period. These are believed to include Du Preez’s fellow South African’s Josh Strauss, at Glasgow, and Edinburgh’s Willem Nel.