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Solly lures Kings star to Edinburgh

Wed, 18 Sep 2013 11:45
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Cornell is the complete package
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Alan Solomons scored another coup for Scottish outfit Edinburgh with the signing of 22-year-old Southern Kings back row forward Cornell du Preez.

Du Preez is expected to arrive in the Scottish capital later this month, subject  to visa and medical examination.

The former South African Under-20 star is equally adept on the blindside flank and No.8 position and arrives after an impressive debut Super Rugby season.

His move to Murrayfield will reunite him with Solomons, who brought du Preez into the Kings franchise after the 2011 Junior World Championships - during his previous incarnation as Director of Rugby at the South African franchise .

Solomons said: "This signing is fantastic news for the club. Cornell is the complete package.

"He's very strong physically, is an exceptionally good carrier, has very good skills and is a powerful and confrontational defender.

"It was universally accepted that he was an absolute star in his first Super season. He's a fantastic player and we're delighted that he's coming here."

Born and schooled in Port Elizabeth, Du Preez went to North West University in Potchefstroom, where he played in the Varsity Cup for NWU-Pukke and the Leopards in the Under-19 and Under-21 competitions.

After his part in the national age-grade set-up, Du Preez's imposing defensive presence and strong running played a big part in the improved fortunes for Eastern Province, where he helped them to a 16-match unbeaten run to lift the First Division title last year.

With nine tries in 19 provincial appearances to his name, Du Preez leap-frogged the domestic Premier Division into the Super Rugby set-up, where he added a further five scores in 16 outings in his first year.

He said: "I'm really excited about joining up with the squad at Edinburgh Rugby.

"The decision to move was an easy one to make, especially when you look at the quality competitions that the club plays in week in, week out, taking on some of the best players in the world, all over Europe.

"I have a very good relationship with [head coach] Alan Solomons and [defence coach] Omar Mouneimne, who've had a huge influence on my career and in my joining the club. They believe in me, and I believe in their systems and what they want to achieve.

"I'm really looking forward to this awesome opportunity and cannot wait to join up with the black and red army."

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