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    Du Toit to focus on tighthead position

    2015-06-25 17:02

    Durban - Junior Springbok and Sharks front-rower Thomas du Toit says he will be focused on developing into a full-time tighthead prop.

    Du Toit emerged on the South African scene as a looshead prop - a position he excelled in at junior and senior level.

    However, he recently played an extended role on the other side of the front row, featuring at tighthead for the Junior Springboks during the World Rugby Under-20 Championship campaign in Italy.

    The 20-year-old said he enjoyed the challenge.

    “Tighthead is definitely the position I want to play in future,” Du Toit told “I enjoy the challenge and there’s plenty of potential for me to establish myself in that position for all the teams I play for.

    “My time with the Junior Springboks allowed me to gain valuable experience in the No 3 jersey. I’ve already chatted to Gary Gold and John Smit at the Sharks, and they agree that I have a future at tighthead, especially with (Springbok tighthead prop) Jannie du Plessis moving on to Montpellier in France.

    “However, it won’t be an immediate change. I will be eased into the process, covering loosehead and tighthead prop when necessary and making the most of every opportunity that comes my way. This will help me develop into a quality tighthead.”

    Speaking about his experience with the Junior Springboks, Du Toit said he enjoyed the time on and off the field in Italy.

    “The loss in the semi-finals hurt a lot. I was part of a very strong squad, and I strongly believed we could go all the way,” said Du Toit. “However, we showed in the third-place playoff what we were really capable of.

    “The Junior Springboks offer a very professional environment. I also made plenty of new friendships with team-mates and managements. I left Italy with many fond memories.”

    Du Toit will enjoy some off time this week before resuming training with the Sharks on Monday ahead of the Currie Cup.

    “It definitely feels good to be back home after spending a few weeks in Italy. It was a great trip, but South Africa will always be home for me,” said Du Toit. “I’m enjoying some free time. My girlfriend and I will be going to the family farm back in Paarl and do a few things in Cape Town, which I’m very excited about.

    “Then it’s back to training on Monday. It’s going to be an exciting time for the Sharks, who will be aiming to win the Currie Cup. I hope I can make valuable contribution to achieving that goal.”

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