Former Springbok Fourie du Preez has committed himself to seeing out his contract with Japanese champions, Suntory Sungoliath but says he would be available for the Springboks if they need him.
Du Preez left South Africa for Japan after the Rugby World Cup and helped Suntory win the Japanese championship recently.
Following Heyneke Meyer's announcement as new Springbok coach, media speculation in South Africa has intensified that Du Preez will return to his native South Africa to play in the June Test Series against England.
Suntory Sungoliath has indicated they would not stand in Du Preez's way should he wish to return to South Africa to play for the Springboks.
Former Suntory GM and current Japan Head Coach Eddie Jones said: "I know that if Heyneke needs him, he will find his support invaluable and we at Suntory have no intention of standing in the way of Fourie assisting his national coach during the forthcoming series."
Du Preez said it would be an honour to play for the Springboks again if his services are needed in a crisis and that he would be happy to work with the younger players as a mentor. "However, I believe South African-based players should receive preference in the national set-up," said Du Preez on the SARugby site.
"I will always be available to play for the Springboks, but I'm well aware that we have a wealth of talented scrumhalves in South Africa, particularly someone like Francois Hougaard, whose time has now come to establish himself as the number one scrumhalf. "
"It's time for the next generation to step up, but I'd be happy to help if the coach calls on me."
"I have been extremely blessed to have played during an era which saw the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup (2007), two Tri-Nations tournaments (2004 and 2009) and beat the British & Irish Lions (2009).
"Furthermore I have won the Super 14 title and the Currie Cup with the Bulls on three occasions each, and I was fortunate enough to play for the Baby Boks when we won the Under 21 World Cup in 2002," he said.
"I'd be happy to share my experience with the next generation of South African rugby talent and I would like to thank Suntory for granting permission to do so. "
"That said, my contract with Suntory ends in March 2013 and I intend to show the club the same commitment I did to the Bulls and the Boks throughout my career."