Meyer compares Du Preez to McCaw

Date published: October 15 2015

Springbok mentor Heyneke Meyer has compared captain Fourie du Preez's value within the team to that of All Black skipper Richie McCaw.

Du Preez took over the reins from Jean de Villiers after he was ruled out for the remainder of the tournament with a fractured jaw and has since led the Boks to two impressive victories.

With Victor Matfield struggling with a hamstring injury and Lood de Jager showing impressive form, the sensible thing for Meyer to do is to stick with du Preez as captain, if they progress further in the tournament.

Meyer, speaking at the team announcement in Bagshot outside London on Wednesday, said that he had full confidence in du Preez's leadership abilities and that he was not surprised to see how well Du Preez has stepped up to lead the team.

"This year, he wasn’t sure about playing but I begged him to come back. He’s the type of guy if you have him in your team and he clicks, he’s like a Richie McCaw for the All Blacks," said Meyer.

"I’ve coached him since he was 19 and he’s one of most of astute players that that I’ve ever coached. I know our game plan will click when he’s on the ball."

Meyer further mentioned that Du Preez had his doubts about coming back into the team from Japan, where he had been struggling with injuries. 

"I asked him to just train with the side. Right up until we left South Africa he wasn’t sure if he would come (along) because he was really struggling with his back and struggling a little bit with his kicking game at time," explained Meyer.

"But he’s a warrior, he just grinds through and plays. He’s been a revelation turning the team around, and as a leader as well. He really knows exactly what I want.

"He’s a genius, an unbelievable player. He’s the type of player that – if we go further in this tournament – he will just get better."