Durban - Pieter-Steph du Toit’s short
career has been plagued by stints on the sidelines.
The latest came in the form of the knee
injury which threatened to destroy his hopes of featuring at this year’s Rugby
But he has recovered in the nick of time,
and is on the bench for this Saturday’s Rugby Championship clash against
Argentina in Durban.
Naturally, the 22-year-old is eager to get
back in a Springbok jersey. The last of his two Tests came in November 2013 in
France, and he acknowledged on Wednesday that spending time off the field in a
World Cup year had been tough.
“There was a lot of fighting between me and
the biokineticist at the Sharks over which matches I should play and which
matches I shouldn’t play,” said Du Toit.
“But at the end I found an inner peace with
myself. I’m just glad that I get to play this game so hopefully everything goes
“It didn’t feel like I left. I’ve slotted
in so easily after nearly two years. Keeping in touch with the coaches helped a
lot. I know what’s expected of me so I just want to get on the pitch.”
Du Toit’s first test came for the Sharks in
last weekend’s Currie Cup warm-up clash against the Golden Lions, and he seems
to have passed well.
“I’m in the best physical shape I’ve ever
been in my life,” he said.
A few weeks ago the Boks were experiencing
somewhat of a crisis at lock. Victor Matfield got himself injured in the Rugby
Championship opener against Australia and his replacement that day, Lood de
Jager, was also making a return from a lengthy injury lay-off.
It was so bad that when the Boks played the
World XV at the beginning of July, flank Oupa Mohoje was the lock cover on the
But much has changed since then.
“There is a very good competition in the
locks department and a few weeks ago we were quite stressed there,” said Du Toit.
“He (De Jager) is doing quite a good job so
if he keeps doing a good job then there is no reason to stress.”
De Jager was also asked about the Argentina
rolling maul, which has been identified by Meyer as one of the best in the
“I don’t think the Springboks fear
anything. We’re ready for anything and we prepare for each match how it comes.
We know what to do in each situation because we have prepared,” said Du Toit.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 17:05.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 Jesse Kriel, 13 Jean
de Villiers (captain), 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre
Pollard, 9 Ruan Pienaar, 8 Schalk Burger, 7 Marcell Coetzee, 6 Heinrich
Brussow, 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Vincent Koch, 2 Bismarck du Plessis,
1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor
Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 20 Siya Kolisi, 21
Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 Lwazi Mvovo