'I’m not going to lie': New Glasgow Warriors lock JP du Preez has designs on a Scotland cap

JP du Preez is aiming high, which is as it should be for a lock forward who measures 6ft 10in in his stocking soles.

JP du Preez made a winning Glasgow Warriors debut against Cardiff and celebrated with his young son, Isak. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
JP du Preez made a winning Glasgow Warriors debut against Cardiff and celebrated with his young son, Isak. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

The Glasgow Warriors man has only been in Scotland a short time but has ambitions to play for the national side, following in the footsteps of fellow South Africans such as WP Nel, Duhan van der Merwe and Pierre Schoeman who have all pulled on the dark blue after qualifying on residency grounds.

The only snag for du Preez is that World Rugby has changed the rules and you now have to live in the country for five years before you qualify rather than three.

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It’s a long time in the future but the man from Roodeport has designs on a cap.

JP du Preez trains with Glasgow Warriors. (Photo by Rob Casey / SNS Group)
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“That is one of my aims, I’m not going to lie,” he said. “It’s any rugby player’s dream to play internationally, so I wouldn’t mind playing for Scotland.”

Unfortunately for the 27-year-old, he has no Scottish grandparents to help him circumvent the residency criterium. “No, I didn’t strike lucky there,” he smiles. “I need to do the residency stuff.”

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Du Preez joined up with Glasgow in the summer but his signing from Sale was announced way back in December 2021 when Danny Wilson was still in charge at Scotstoun. He was replaced as head coach by Franco Smith and du Preez had taken the change in his stride, helped by the fact that he used to play under Smith at the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein.

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Smith, whose side host the Bulls on Saturday, has gained a reputation as a hard taskmaster, with players in at 7am for “fat-burning” sessions, but du Preez is unfazed.

“Maybe it’s because I’m used to it and that’s just the type of people we are. I wouldn’t say we’re tough on people but we know we want to get stuff done, in a certain way.

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“He’s exactly the same as he was at the Cheetahs in the sense of how he wants to play, what type of areas he wants us to play in and what our focus is for the weekend. The comms between him and the players is very good.”

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