With reported interest circling from Bulls coach John Mitchell, Sharks spokesperson Novashni Chetty confirmed that Du Preez is staying with the franchise in an interview with The Witness.
“Jean-Luc is contracted to the Sharks, he’s actually just re-signed with the franchise, so those rumours that he might leave aren’t true,” she said.
“If a player has signed, you have to wait until he is a free agent before you can negotiate with them and Jean-Luc is no longer a free agent.”
The retention of the boom 22-year-old is a huge boost for a Sharks side that is building around a talented young core.
Du Preez led the competition in offloading with 33, which helped the side play an expansive, frenetic style of attack. When he was on the field, the Sharks looked a different side with his ability to get the ball away in contact.
The Sharks finished in eighth-placed and qualified for the playoffs before coming up against the Crusaders in Christchurch. Head coach Du Preez senior has expressed his thoughts that this team has the makings of a champion side, and holding onto one of his sons will be a crucial part in making that happen.
Jean-Luc made his Springbok debut as a replacement for Warren Whiteley against France last year and is certain to win more caps in the future. As for the Bulls, they will have to continue the search for a marquee loose forward elsewhere.
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