Home Sport Rugby The number on my shirt doesn’t matter, says Bok forward Du Toit

The number on my shirt doesn’t matter, says Bok forward Du Toit

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“We have shown a lot of improvement so far this year but there is still a lot of work to be done,”

Pieter-Steph du Toit

Like most players, Pieter-Steph du Toit has his favourite position, but the tall forward is quick to point out that the number on his back doesn’t really matter, as long as he can play for his beloved Springboks.

“As a kid, I always dreamt of playing for the Springboks, so it’s really a dream that comes true each and every time I run out for the Boks,” said Du Toit, whose grandfather Piet, also known as “Piet Spiere”, also played for the Springboks.

“So while I have my favourite position, which is blindside flank, because I can get my hands on the ball a bit more, it doesn’t bother me at all which number I have on my shirt – I am happy as long as I can play for the Boks.”

Du Toit has been described by many experts as “somewhat of a dream forward”. His versatility makes him an excellent option either as a lock or on the side of the scrum.

He is big, powerful and very athletic and his high work rate – either as strong ball carrier or fierce tackler – means he can seamlessly juggle between lock or industrious loose forward.

Du Toit was a member of the Junior Springbok side that won the World Rugby Under-20 Championship at home in 2012, and in 2016 he was the SA Rugby Player of the Year, when he delivered constant standout performances for the Springboks in a very difficult year for the men in Green and Gold.

And general opinion seems to indicate that this year, Du Toit has played even better than his stellar season of two years ago.

After two difficult years, the Springboks are nowadays a rejuvenated side and the team’s forward pack is once more regarded as a feared combination, with Du Toit clearly enjoying his time out on the pitch with the Bok pack.

“We have shown a lot of improvement so far this year but there is still a lot of work to be done,” said Du Toit.

“The players and coaching staff are working hard to improve us as a team and I am glad that I’m able to contribute in some way to the team effort.”

Du Toit has collected 44 Test appearances for the Springboks and he also captained the side that narrowly lost to Wales in the season-opener in Washington DC in June this year.

His versatility has seen him play 26 Tests at lock, 17 times in the flank position and once at the back of the scrum, at No 8.

African News Agency (ANA)