Du Toit happy to return to Bok second row

Springbok flank Pieter-Steph du Toit says he is more than willing to shift back to the second row if needed during the British & Irish Lions series.

The Springboks are unlikely to have the services of RG Snyman as the lock continues his recovery from burns suffered in an accident last month.

ALSO READ: Snyman has “small chance” of playing in Lions series

Snyman and Bok centre Damian de Allende were part of a group of four Munster players who sustained burns to their legs, hands and face after being involved in an accident along with two other Munster teammates, Mike Haley and CJ Stander.

Springbok assistant coach Deon Davids on Sunday confirmed that Snyman, who is also recovering from a long-term knee injury, will have to undergo a skin graft on his knee and only has a “small chance” of playing in the upcoming series.

The Springboks are also sweating over the fitness of Eben Etzebeth after the most senior lock in the squad came off at half time against Georgia with an apparent rib injury. More clarity over his status is expected this week, as the Springboks prepare for the second and final Test against Georgia on Friday.

During an online media conference, Du Toit was asked whether he would be willing to shift back to the second row, where he started his professional career with the Sharks.

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Du Toit last played in the Springbok second row during a win over France in Paris in 2018, but was used exclusively at flank during the team’s successful 2019.

“Yeah, of course. I will be happy to try and play there again, even though I haven’t played there in a long time,” Du Toit said.

“It’s where I started my career and there’s not much difference [to playing at flank]. It’s only the scrumming that’s going to change a bit. Our coaches and I will have to put in that extra work for the scrums.

“For me, to be a part of the squad and play against the Lions, I will play wherever they need me.”

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Du Toit was also asked about the experience of playing in a Test match without any fans in the stadium and how the Springboks are using it to their advantage.

“It’s a mental shift that you have to make. Communication is a big focus point for us. We can communicate with each other better on the field when a message does get passed without the normal music and noise.

“That’s a bit of a focus point for us, to make sure that the communication is better on the field.”

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Dylan Jack