Rugby Championship

Du Toit raring to go for Boks

2015-08-06 08:31
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo Images)

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 World Cup.

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 well.

“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 bench.

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 world.

“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.


South Africa:

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




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