Rugby | Du Preez: All Black loss still hurts

Fourie du Preez (AP)

Cape Town – Scrumhalf Fourie du Preez says he enjoyed the
experience of captaining the Springboks at the past Rugby World Cup in England.

After Jean de Villiers was ruled out of the tournament with
a jaw fracture in South Africa’s second game – and Victor Matfield struggling with
a hamstring injury – coach Heyneke Meyer handed the captain’s armband to Du

Du Preez led the Boks to wins over Scotland (34-16), the USA
(64-0) and Wales (23-19), before a narrow 20-18 defeat to the All Blacks in the

Du Preez missed the Bronze Final against Argentina due to a
facial injury and it’s still unclear whether the 33-year-old will continue with his
international career next year.

While admitting he is still struggling to come to terms with
the defeat to the All Blacks, Du Preez is happy he was offered the opportunity
to lead his country.

“It was an emotional ride for me these few weeks, which I
really loved. It was one of the best experiences of my career,” he told
journalists at OR Tambo airport in Johannesburg after arriving from London on

“Coming up short was obviously tough to take, it’s still
tough to take. But we need to improve as a country. We don’t have to reinvent
the wheel, but we have to get the ball rolling.”

After starting the World Cup with a shock defeat to Japan,
the Boks recovered well to reach the semi-finals and Du Preez feels the nation
can be proud of that.

“After the Japan game we got together and decided ‘look, we’re
going to turn this around’. And as South Africans we can be really proud of
that. We are really proud of it ourselves. But we came up just short. Everyone’s
got a lot of reasons for that but it was so marginal… but, we have to get
that two, three percent right.”

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