The World Cup-winner, who is seen by many as the sport's leading No9, came on as a second-half replacement during the Blue Bulls' win over the Cheetahs in round four of the Currie Cup to give de Villiers food for thought ahead of the latter part of the Tri Nations and the forthcoming autumn tour of Europe.
Du Preez had a hand in a try by Danie Rossouw as he played the last half-an-hour of a 31-23 victory that saw the Blue Bulls finish the weekend in second place in the Currie Cup standings.
Elsewhere, it was a case of two out of three for the Lions' Currie Cup opponents as the Sharks beat the Valke on Friday and the Lions came out on top against the Cavaliers in Johannesburg on the same day as Western Province slipped to defeat at the Wildeklawer Griquas.
Currie Cup results round four
Blue Bulls 31-23 Cheetahs
Griquas 21-20 Western Province
Lions 57-17 Cavaliers
Sharks 28-10 Valke
For more information on the Currie Cup, including our weekly round up and previews, keep your eyes on www.lionsrugby.com