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Vodacom Cup Rising Star: JP du Preez

At 2.09m, JP du Preez is in all likelihood the tallest player ever to play rugby in South Africa, standing one centimetre taller than Springbok lock Andries Bekker.

Du Preez made his Vodacom Super Rugby debut for the Emirates Lions two weekends ago when he came off the bench against the Cell C Sharks in Durban, which made him the tallest player in the 20-year history of this competition.

Having only turned 21 late last year, Du Preez is still young for a tight forward, but this former pupil of Dr EG Jansen High School in Boksburg has vast experience in age-group rugby, having represented the Valke and Golden Lions at U19 and U21 levels in the last three seasons.

In 2013, Du Preez played in the Absa Under-19 Final against the Vodacom Blue Bulls, but earlier in that season he also played for the Golden Lions’ U21s.

Last year, Du Preez was a stalwart of the Golden Lions Under-21s, featuring in 11 of their 13 matches as the youngsters from Johannesburg reached the semi-finals. He was also part of the Junior Springbok training group but missed out on selection in the final squad.

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