After being named Super Rugby Player of the Year by the South African Rugby Union, Waratahs' new signing Sarel Pretorius can now add the praise of his teammates and coaches to add to his list of accolades.
The former Cheetahs scrumhalf was recognised as part of last week’s star-studded SARU ceremony during which 16 awards were won for excellence across all age groups and competitions in 16 categories.
Having signed for the Waratahs in June, Pretorius completed his Currie Cup commitments before joining the squad for the start of pre-season training last week and has been quick to impress his new peers.
"I've watched Sarel play quite a bit, he's fast and he moves the ball really well," said flyhalf Daniel Halangahu.
"He's an exciting player who has incredible speed around the field, as well as the breakdown. He's a great acquisition."
Waratahs assistant coach Scott Bowen added: "Sarel is an exciting player and will be a great asset to us and the attacking rugby we want to play and that our fans want to see.
"His speed and support make him a constant threat and his versatility is another asset - he’s equally strong on the wing.”
Pretorius caught the Tahs’ attention at the beginning of the 2011 season when Bowen spotted his potential in the Cheetahs’ 23-3 Super Rugby victory over the home side.
Despite starting on the bench and playing most of the match on the wing, Bowen saw immediate potential and begun tracking him.
"His speed and support were his greatest strengths,” he said.
Pretorius' award is further recognition for one of the most improved players in 2011, after the 26-year-old established himself as one of Super Rugby's leading scrumhalves, topping the competition's try-scorers list and earning selection in the Springboks 50-man pre-World Cup squad.
Previously selected for the Emerging Springboks and a former member of the SA Sevens squad, Pretorius is well known for his try-scoring ability - he also touched down for 41 tries in 99 provincial rugby appearances for the Falcons and Griquas in the Currie Cup competition.
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