Springbok lock Du Toit signed for the Stormers and Western Province last year while making a miraculous recovery from a torn knee ligament.
He managed to be ready in time for the Rugby World Cup, and where he started in at flank against Japan and was a replacement lock against Scotland, USA and in the quarter-final against Wales.
But now he is making a fresh start back home in the Cape – he was born and bred in Malmesbury and went to Hoerskool Swartland, and played Craven Week rugby for Boland before moving to the Sharks after school.
Du Toit has had to endure operations to his ankles (twice), knees (twice) and chest. But following a gruelling pre-season programme with the Stormers in the Cape summer, the two-metre tall, 115kg giant is looking in good shape for the start of the Super Rugby season in just over a month’s time, against the Bulls at Newlands on February 27.
That is why Fleck is pleased with his lock stocks for Super Rugby. “(Pieter-Steph) is looking awesome – serious, serious, serious beast that. And rugby player. A quiet man, but hard as nails. So, he’s been a great addition to the squad, and a quiet leader in his own sort of way. We’ve been very impressed with him,” Fleck said this week.
“So, very happy with the lock situation as Eben (Etzebeth) is coming back, and Pieter-Steph, who wants to push for that number five position, where wants to control the line-outs and whatever.
“We’ve got a young kid in JD Schickerling, who is a talented rugby player and he will be getting a good shout at some stage of the competition. Then the guy who probably does the most work without being seen is JK – Jean Kleyn. Serious workhorse. And that’s probably what we need a little bit more, the guys who are prepared to do the dirty work instead of the glamour stuff.
“We need some hard grafters in the side, and we are starting to unearth those in Pieter-Steph and JK.”
The Stormers will play warm-up games against South Western Districts in George on January 30 and Argentina’s Jaguars at Newlands on February 13 before they kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the Bulls at Newlands on February 27.
Original source: Pieter-Steph a ‘serious beast’ for Stormers