Sport / Rugby

Heinz Schenk
2 minute read
29 Mar 2017
9:58 am

Double the trouble as Sharks’ Du Preez twins are reunited

Heinz Schenk

Super Rugby teams already hate having to tackle the massive Jean-Luc. Now he's being joined by brother Dan, who's even taller.

The Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc (L) and Dan, are a frightening prospect together. Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images.

Whenever opponents play the Sharks at the moment, they probably hate the thought of having to tackle Jean-Luc du Preez.

It’s quite understandable.

The 21-year-old is a hulking man-mountain at 1.94m and 113kg and he’s really difficult to stop.

There’s actually a stat that proves it – Du Preez has broken a tackle five times to date, meaning he’s either wiggled or bumped himself out of the arms of a defender.

He’s actually done that the second-most times in this year’s tournament.

So if you’re already sort of dispirited just by the thought of having to stop one Du Preez, imagine having to do it with two on the field.

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It’s a scary thought because it’s happening already.

The past two weeks have seen the Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Dan, playing in tandem during the second half of matches.

Dan is actually taller than his brother at 1.96m and weights 112kg.

But it’s taken more than a year for rugby fans to see these two giants playing alongside each other.

While Jean-Luc has established himself over the past two seasons, Dan has been stuck on the sidelines with a groin injury.

It’s the type of frustrating injury that can mentally hamper most 21-year-olds.

But Jean-Luc is pretty confident his brother bears no mental scars.

“Look, he was out for 10 months. I’m not sure it’s easy for any player to handle that type of frustration,” he said.

“Dan obviously was frustrated too but I feel he handled it really well. I’m actually really proud of him and happy to have him back playing alongside me.”

A strong brotherly bond definitely also helped as the twins are very close and still live at home with father Robert, the Sharks’ head coach.

“We live together, so we almost by default rely on each other. We see each other a lot. Well, relatively because nowadays he spends three times a week at his girlfiend,” said Jean-Luc with a chuckle.

“But yes, I’d like to think my support helped.”

The inclusion of 13 Sharks players, numerous of them rookies like Du Preez and 19-year-old Curwin Bosch, for this weekend’s Springbok training camp illustrates how quickly the Durbanites’ youngsters take responsibility.

“It’s nice to see,” said Du Preez.

“We have a culture that the individual that comes into the team needs to step up, young or experienced. You can’t be hesitant, so we all want to be professional and step up.”

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