From career-threatening injuries to World Cup triumphs

Who is Pieter-Steph du Toit: Ten things you should know about the Springbok

A versatile forward who can play in both the second and back rows, Pieter-Steph du Toit has more than 50 caps for South Africa.

Here are a few more facts and stats about the Springbok.

Ten things you should know about Pieter-Steph du Toit

1. Pieter Stephanus du Toit was born in Cape Town on 20 August 1992 and is the seventh Pieter-Steph du Toit in his family. His son is the eighth.

2. He grew up on the family vineyard at Riebeek Kasteel, about 80km from Cape Town as one of four boys.

One of his younger brothers, Johan, is a back-row/lock for the Stormers. The pair were previously at the Sharks.

3. Du Toit was an U20 World Cup winner with South Africa in 2012 when they beat New Zealand 22-16 in the final at Newlands in Cape Town.

It was the first time the Junior Boks had won the title, and Handré Pollard and Steven Kitshoff were also amongst the starting XV.

4. Du Toit’s grandfather Pieter Stephanus du Toit (born 1935) played 14 times for the Springboks between 1958 and 1961.

A strong scrummaging prop he was known as ‘Spiere’ the Afrikaans word for ‘Muscles’ and he played in the 1960 series win over the All Blacks. His farm is where the current Springbok du Toit was raised.

5. Du Toit made his senior Springbok debut in Cardiff against Wales in November 2013. The Boks won the game 24-15 and also gave a debut to prop Frans Malherbe.

6. After tearing an ACL in 2014, du Toit tore it again a year later. He made the Rugby World Cup later that year but only after he had a transplant, with his father donating a hamstring tendon of his own to act as his son’s new ACL.

7. He was named World Rugby Player of the Year in the wake of South Africa’s World Cup triumph in Japan in 2019.

Other nominees were England’s Tom Curry, Ardie Savea of New Zealand, Cheslin Kolbe from South Africa, Joe Taufete’e the American hooker and Wales legend Alun Wyn Jones.

8. Du Toit nearly lost a leg in 2020 after getting two bangs on his quad muscle in a Super Rugby game for the Stormers against the Blues.

The haematoma became acute compartment syndrome and vascular surgeons at Vincent Pallotti Hospital operated. However, they could not close the wound for two weeks, he was released with a vacuum dressing on it, for two weeks.

After losing 10kg in two weeks and with his leg reduced in width they could shut the wound. Then rehab started on the family farm.

9. Du Toit credits lockdown with saving his rugby career. He said: “If it was not for lockdown I would have missed a lot of rugby and people would have forgotten about me,” he said on The Open Side.

10. Du Toit signed a short deal to play for Toyota Verblitz in Japan, under Steve Hansen, from November 2021.

He was denied a farewell appearance for the Stormers when their Rainbow Cup game against the Lions was cancelled because of Covid-19 in June 2021.

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