With the Lions tour now less than 11 months away, South African supporters will be delighted by the news that Springbok scrum-half Fourie du Preez is set for a long-awaited return from injury this weekend.
The Blue Bulls No9 was in superb form during the triumphant World Cup-winning campaign but has not featured for his country so far this season.
Du Preez sustained a hand injury during the 2008 Super 14 competition but has now been named among the replacements for the Blue Bulls’ Currie Cup clash with the Cheetahs at Loftus Versfeld this Saturday.
The 26-year-old last appeared in the Currie Cup 33 months ago, with a Springbok resting programme and the 2007 World Cup ruling him out of the last two tournaments.
With 38 caps to his name already, Du Preez could make a claim for the home leg of the Tri Nations, leaving him with plenty of time to get re-accustomed to international rugby before the Lions touch down in South Africa next year.