Sharks coach Robert du Preez is philosophical about the injury that will keep his ace blindside flanker and son, Jean-Luc, on the sidelines for almost three months.
The frustrating thing about the setback is that the 24-year-old bruiser was actually on duty for English club Sale, where he’s on a short-term contract before the start of this year’s Super Rugby campaign.
These arrangements are now common in local rugby as unions allow star players to supplement their income with extra gigs, particularly in England and Japan.
However, it becomes fairly controversial when a player gets injured.
But Du Preez is clearly aware that the economics of modern rugby means his hands are essentially chopped off and rather opts to see the benefits of the experience for the player.
“Unfortunately, Jean-Luc got injured, but let me tell you, it’s been an unbelievable experience for him and the rest,” said the Durbanites’ mentor.
“Curwin (Bosch), Robert (du Preez jr) and Jean-Luc will all tell you how much they’ve benefited. They had a fantastic time and they bring back new ideas and it’s good for the coaches too.”
In fact, Du Preez actively encourages unions to promote short-term stints overseas.
“They make new friends and get exposed to a different lifestyle, different coaching methods and a different voice. I think it’s fantastic and we mustn’t be scared to do that all the time,” he said.