Stormers coach John Dobson says the fact that Du Toit agreed to commit his future to Western Province Rugby is largely thanks to the behind-the-scenes work of the union’s board and shareholders.
After a prolonged transfer saga, the World Rugby Player of the Year withdrew his contract termination and has agreed to the same salary reduction as his teammates, as per the rugby industry’s financial impact plan.
As previously reported by SARugbymag.co.za, Du Toit’s intention was always to remain in South Africa.
Dobson confirmed that the way the various stakeholders, particularly the Western Province Rugby Football Union and president Zelt Marais, worked together was vital to retaining so many quality players.
‘The support from the board and the shareholders in keeping Pieter-Steph and this amazing squad together has been absolutely incredible. We don’t have billionare equity partners, we are owned by our clubs, which are going through enormous stress themselves.
‘So the support of our shareholder [WPRFU] which is owned by the clubs, allowed us to do this. We must give a lot of credit to Zelt Marais, the president, and his executive for supporting us. It is great for the region and we are very grateful for that,’ he said.
Dobson said Du Toit’s contract extension shows that his commitment to the cause off the field matches what he shows every week on the field.
‘Pieter-Steph was always going to be a more complex case because he is the World Rugby Player of the Year and the interest in him. He has bought into the collective bargaining agreement and like the other players has taken the same pay cut and wants to be part of our future here. I think that is credit to him because I think the pressure would have been substantial.
‘The one thing about him is that it doesn’t matter what the game is or who he is playing for, the way he works on the field, his physicality and the way he gives 100% is incredible.
‘He has had a serious injury and is busy with his rehab, but now that we have got clarity that really needs to be accelerated. We are hoping that he will be available when we get back on the field,’ he commented.
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