GIANT South African second-row JP Du Preez will join Glasgow Warriors next summer, subject to visa. The 6ft 10ins, 27-year-old will make the switch to Scotstoun from Sale Sharks, where he has played since November 2020, making 21 appearances to date.
Du Preez became the tallest player to have ever played Super Rugby when he made his competitive debut for the Lions back in 2015, but he is still a few inches short of Richard Metcalfe, the Scotland second-row of the early 2000s, who is 7ft and believed to be the tallest ever professional rugby player.
After his stint with the Lions, and prior to his switch to Sale, Du Preez made 31 appearances for the Cheetahs in the Guinness PRO14 between 2018 and 2020.
“I’m really excited to be joining Glasgow Warriors,” he said. “Glasgow play a style of rugby that I like to play – running rugby with a hard and physical edge.
“I like to think I’ll complement their style of play and I believe I bring strong lineout presence and a physicality in both attack and defence.
“I’ve played against Warriors in the past and they’re a very tough side to compete against, especially in Glasgow in front of their home fans. I can’t wait to be a part of the team.”
It is not possible to say with certainty at the moment which of the current Warriors second-rows will compete against Du Preez for game time next season. However, Scott Cummings signed a new “multi-year” contract last December, so should still be in the mix.
Meanwhile, Richie Gray, Rob Harley and Kiran McDonald all signed two-year contracts ahead of the 2020-21 season, and there has been no word yet on whether any of those deals will be extended beyond the end of this 2021-22 campaign. Similarly, the contact extension Hamish Bain signed last March is understood to be for this season only, and the 24-year-old has yet to play a game due to an arm injury.
Teenage Academy prospects Alex Samuel and Max Williamson have both identified as players with big futures, but have yet to play a competitive match for the club.
“We’ve been impressed with JP’s recent performances for Sale Sharks,” said Warriors head coach Danny Wilson. “At 6ft 10ins, and 122kg, he’s the type of physical player we wanted to add to our squad.
“He brings with him a wealth of experience having played in the PRO14, Premiership and Super Rugby and we look forward to welcoming him to the club next season.”