VIDEO: Why Du Toit said no to overseas move
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: The fear of losing his place in the Springbok team was the driving for behind Pieter-Steph du Toit’s decision to stay in South Africa and not follow the cash to the north.
Du Toit was named SA Rugby Player of the Year for 2019, winning the award for the third time. This latest award comes after he was crowned World Rugby Player of the Year after helping the Springboks win their third World Cup title.
Several big European teams were reportedly after the 27-year-old’s services, especially after his exploits in Japan. However, Du Toit only had the Springboks on his mind when he made his decision.
“When we discussed contracting, I was always afraid that I will not get picked [for the Springboks] if I play overseas,” he said.
“That is always in the back of my mind – to stay in South Africa and make sure that I do everything on my side so that I will be selected for the [British and Irish] Lions series. That is something that played a massive role.”
Du Toit also believes he has unfinished business when it comes to taking South African rugby to new heights in the next few years.
“SA Rugby is trying to put structures in place and giving the players what they need. I think they are doing a good job.
“We [players] got a big role as well in trying to build South African rugby to what it was.
“I was involved for a number of years when things were not so good and personally I fell I got a responsibility to help where a can and just do my part,” Du Toit added.
The main man! Pieter-Steph du Toit chats on winning the SA Rugby Player of the Year Award (again). pic.twitter.com/CSVcEZ8IOi
— Springboks (@Springboks) January 24, 2020
Du Toit also has some unfinished business with the Stormers, who will say goodbye to Newlands Stadium this year.
“It is our last year at Newlands, so it is quite exciting, and it is also a bit sad.
“I think for us as a squad the history at Newlands will be something that will motivate us.
“Winning Super Rugby at Newlands is the ultimate dream for me for this year. Personally, I just want to enjoy my rugby and be fully fit and strong and learn from whoever I can,” said the towering forward.
In other news: