16 Mar Du Preez ready to lock horns with Parisse
Newly-capped Scotland back-row Cornell Du Preez expects to call on recent experience should he come off the bench to face Italy at BT Murrayfield this Saturday (18 March) – live on BBC.
On familiar turf – where his club side Edinburgh Rugby, until recently, played their home games – he will likely come up against Italian captain and talisman Sergio Parisse, who he faced in the club’s contests with Stade Fancais in this season’s European Rugby Challenge Cup.
He said: “He [Parisse] is a guy who I watched a lot growing up. The way he plays is very skilful. He’s a joy to watch.
“He’s obviously is a very talented ball player and a lot of their game revolves around him.
“We’ve got plans in place to disrupt him as much as we can but you never know who is going to surprise you at the weekend.
“He’s a big part of the game obviously but you can’t just focus on one guy because there is obviously 14 other men that can do something.”
South African-born Du Preez qualified for Scotland on residency grounds in October but has had to wait for his chance having been called up to the autumn test squad last year and included from day one in this years RBS 6 Nations campaign, but not featuring until now.
“Vern has always spoken to me – he’s always had a plan”, said Du Preez.
“Initially he just brought me in to try and get to know the boys and the way they wanted to play.
“The boys have been playing very well so I was fortunate to get my chance through injuries. I had a good year last year, played nearly every game and got into the PRO12 Dream Team.
“It was a very proud moment for me personally. We had an after-match function. It’s a very proud moment getting your cap and tie presented to you.”