Cape Town - Pieter-Steph du Toit on Monday
became the second Springbok lock in two seasons to be named as SA Rugby’s
Player of the Year at a glittering awards ceremony at the Gallagher Conference
Centre in Midrand.
The 24-year-old Du Toit
follows in the footsteps of Lood de Jager, who walked away with the Award for
the 2015 season, on a night where no fewer than eight of the winners are aged
25 or younger. The average age of all the players who won awards, is 22.7 years.
The Springbok and DHL Stormers
lock fought off strong challenges for the top award from his middle row partner
Eben Etzebeth, and a trio of Boks from the Emirates Lions, Ruan Combrinck, Jaco Kriel and Warren Whiteley.
The Golden Lions however did
do exceptionally well at the Awards, with a total of five awards heading back
to Emirates Airline Park in Johannesburg.
The winners from Johannesburg
are Malcolm Marx (Young Player of the Year), Elton Jantjies (Vodacom Super
Rugby Player of the Tournament), Jacques Nel (Supersport Try of the Year) and
Johan Ackermann (Coach of the Year), while the “Pride of Jozi”, the Emirates
Lions, was named Team of the Year after a superb showing in Vodacom Super Rugby.
The prestigious Players’ Player of the Year Award, presented by MyPlayers
and voted for by the players themselves, went to Jean-Luc du Preez of the Cell
C Sharks, who was on Saturday included in the Springbok tour squad for the
Barbarians match in London early next month.
winners in the three categories for national teams were Seabelo Senatla
(Steinhoff Springbok Sevens Player of the Year), Curwin Bosch (Junior Springbok
Player of the Year) and Marithy Pienaar (Springbok Women Player of the Year).
The Outsurance Referee Award went to Rasta Rasivhenge for a second
winners in the various competitions were Jantjies,
Ox Nche of the Toyota Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division Player
of the Year), Masixole Banda of the Border Bulldogs (Currie Cup First Division
Player of the Year) and DHL Western Province’s Damian Willemse (Coca-Cola
Craven Week Player of the Year).
SA Rugby, for the first time
this year, rewarded one of their member unions with a Best Development Award,
which went to the Blue Bulls Rugby Union.
“To see so many young players
step up and make their mark certainly bodes well for the future and I would
like to congratulate all the winners, as well as those who were nominated,”
said Mr Mark Alexander, Acting President of SA Rugby.
“Many of the players who won
awards this year, will thrill us for many years to come and I’m certainly excited
to see what the future holds for them and South African rugby in its entirety.
“It was a challenging year for
South African rugby in many respects, but there were still a lot of wonderful
achievements worth celebrating and all the players who won awards tonight,
fully deserve to walk away with the spoils.”
List of winners
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit
Nominees: Ruan Combrinck, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel, Warren Whiteley
Young Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Nominees: Curwin Bosch, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Seabelo Senatla, RG Snyman
Players’ Player of the Year: Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks)
Team of the Year: Lions (Super Rugby)
Nominees: Springbok Sevens, Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division)
Coach of the Year: Johan Ackermann (Lions, Golden Lions)
Nominees: Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Curwin Bosch
Nominees: Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward
SA Sevens Player of the Year: Seabelo Senatla
Nominees: Kyle Brown, Rosko Specman
Super Rugby Player of Year: Elton Jantjies (Lions)
Nominees: Ruan Combrinck (Lions), Warren Whiteley (Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)
Nominees: Huw Jones (Western Province), Nico Lee (Free State Cheetahs)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Masixole Banda (Border)
Nominees: Johan Deysel (Leopards), George Whitehead (Griffons)
Supersport Try of the Year: Jacques Nel (Golden Lions v WP, Currie Cup Premier Division)
Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Year: Damian Willemse (WP)
Referee Award: Rasta Rasivhenge
Springbok Women’s Achiever Award: Marithy Pienaar
Best Development Programme Award: Blue Bulls Rugby Union