Captain’s profile: Thomas du Toit
At 1.88m and 122kg, Paarl Boys’ High captain Thomas du Toit is an imposing figure in the front row.
The massive loosehead prop’s strong scrummaging and ball-carrying ability saw him feature for Western Province in this year’s Craven Week.
Du Toit was one of the stars of the dominant Western Province side, scoring two tries and capping the week by being selected for the 2013 South African Schools captain for the upcoming games against England, France and Wales.
“Meeting new people is truly a blessing. Nothing brings a closer bond than brothers playing on a field. I made friends for live, learned many new things about rugby and the traditions of the WP team. I enjoyed every moment,” Du Toit, who played Grant Khomo rugby in 2011, said of his Craven Week experience.
Du Toit believes his success this season is a result of hard work in training and in the gym. “My philosophy is to do what others won't to achieve what others won't. Work hard and success will follow.”
That mentality will serve Du Toit well when he joins the Sharks Academy next year, where he will look to take the next step of his career while studying agricultural management.
Du Toit, however, is focused solely on this weekend and what he says will be the highlight of his rugby career to date – captaining his team in the big interschools derby against Paarl Gimnasium on Saturday.
“In the beginning it was a massive shock but my team backed me every step of the way and through that I became more confident in what I do. I love the opportunity to provide leadership in this team,” he said of being appointed captain.
Looking to Saturday's showdown, he said: “When two lions meet one must die. That's how I see this interschools game.
“The last time BHS won interschools was in 2009, so we are hoping to turn the losing streak around.
“The season started of with a few bumps. We lost four games in the beginning but our success curve is looking very good. We made a few drastic changes that made everyone uncertain of a place in the first team and then was the time the hard workers came through. Now everything is looking positive.
“The team is led by a few seniors like Dante [van der Merwe] and Dewald [Naude] who plays an amazing role in the success of the team through their experiences. I've also been in a captain's position so I can also contribute. The best team will jog onto that field on Saturday and they will be the best this school has to offer.
“I’ve told the guys to absorb every little thing happening this week, to enjoy the opportunity but still to stay focused throughout the week because when the sideshows past we still have a job to do on Saturday.”