A remorseful Pieter-Steph du Toit will plead his case in front of a World Rugby disciplinary panel on Tuesday morning after being sent off in the loss to France in Marseille.
Du Toit’s participation in the final tour games – against Italy on Saturday and England next weekend – hangs in the balance after the flanker saw red for a reckless charge into the ruck which resulted in a head-on-head clash with France centre Jonathan Danty.
The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year has a near exemplary disciplinary record, as his red card in Marseille was the first in his professional career and he has previously only been yellow carded twice in his club career while at the DHL Stormers.
There is also an argument for a mitigating factor in that he was driven into the ruck by teammates Kwagga Smith and Damian de Allende.
“Pieter-Steph’s hearing is on Tuesday and if we get an answer soon, we’ll plan accordingly,” Springbok forwards coach Deon Davids said on Monday.
“There are processes that are followed when a player is yellow-carded or red-carded and for Pieter-Steph’s case, the same process will be followed.
“We feel sorry for Pieter-Steph that he got a red card in that clash. The Pieter-Steph I know does everything within the rules and doesn’t try to play outside of them,” added Davids.
“We’ll make plans around that, and we’ll be happy to have him in the camp. We’ll accept the outcome of the hearing.”
Du Toit’s potential absence could present an opportunity for Smith to retain his place in the starting lineup against Italy, after the former Blitzbok wore the No 8 jersey against France. Depending on Jasper Wiese’s recovery from concussion, Smith could shift to blindside flank, while Franco Mostert is another option to play on the side of the scrum.
Alternatively, youngster Evan Roos could start at No 8 and either Mostert or Smith could play at blindside flank in Genoa on Saturday.
Springbok head coach Jacques Nienaber will announce the team to face Italy on Tuesday afternoon.
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