Cheeky: Cornell can play for Scotland
Cheeky: Cornell can play for ScotlandSHARE
Eastern Province Kings boss Cheeky Watson believes former South African Under-20 star Cornell du Preez could play for Scotland once he qualifies.
Watson confirmed that Du Preez has been released from his contract with immediate effect.
Former Southern Kings Director of Rugby Alan Solomons. now head coach at Edinburgh, scored a major coup for the Scottish outfit with the signing of 22-year-old back row forward.
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.
"Du Preez had already committed to play for Edinburgh from November 1, when his contract with the EP Kings expired," Watson said on Wednesday.
"However, an agreement has been reached between ourselves and their club management for his early release," he added.
Watson said he was excited that Du Preez had been given this opportunity, and wished him everything of the best as he furthered his career.
"There is no doubt that Cornell was one of the stalwarts during the Southern Kings' [debut Super Rugby] campaign and has continued to play superb rugby for us during the First Division season.
"We wish him everything of the best," he said.
Watson said he knew that Du Preez aspired to build towards playing for Scotland, and did not feel that he would be given the opportunity to play for the Springboks, because of the current depth of loose forwards, if he remained in South Africa.
"This is a great opportunity for him and it would not be right for us to stand in his way," he said.
* Watson also wished Argentinian Nicolas Vergallo well with his new contract with Lyon in France, which was announced Tuesday.
"I know that Vergallo has strong aspirations to play for the Pumas," Watson said, adding: "Many of his former teammates from Argentina play in the French and European competitions, and the move to Lyon was therefore a sensible option in lieu of him wanting to again represent his country."