Du Preez back in full training

Date published: September 7 2015

Fourie du Preez is on course to be fit for the World Cup according to Springbok doctor Craig Roberts and has returned to full training.

The 33-year-old scrum-half hasn't played for the Boks since 2014, and has been slowed by a knee injury this season.

His last game was in February in Japan, and he missed all of the Rugby Championship as a result.

However Roberts is optimistic that he will be ready for the World Cup, having come through a full training session with the squad.

"Fourie has done really well, obviously he hasn’t played a lot of rugby but for him we are trying to get him playing more and more simulated game time in training," Roberts told Supersport.

"He did the full training today including the contact session and took some nice hits. We’re building his confidence and he came through the training nicely. I’m happy with his progress, we’re still two weeks away and he is doing really well."

"It’s always a catch 22 because there is a difference between training fit and match fit. But when guys have 50 caps and are experienced they generally get that match fitness and running lines a lot quicker.

"I’m generally comfortable with where we are. If we were playing in games this last weekend and we were picking up injuries, then I’d be worried to lose players in warm-up games which are not necessary."

Duane Vermeulen is also taking more contact in training, while Francois Louw is also getting close to 100 percent. However Jean de Villiers and Bryan Habana are both currently laid low by the flu, while Eben Etzebeth is trying to get over a calf strain and a stomach bug.

"At this stage everyone will be fit and ready for that first game," added Roberts.

"Obviously we’re taking it day by day but that is our plan, to have 31 players fit and ready for the coach to select the 23 he wants for his first game.

"The guys trained incredibly hard for the last three months in Durban and in the last few weeks in Durban really put in the hard yards so if I look at the guys and their body fat, how fit and lean they’re looking then I’m happy with them."