Springbok and Stormers forward Pieter-Steph du Toit has been named SA Rugby Player of the Year for 2018.
It’s the second time in three years that Du Toit has claimed SA Rugby’s top award, with the versatile forward having also won it in 2016.
After an outstanding 2018 season, Du Toit was nominated alongside another previous winner, Malcolm Marx, as well as Aphiwe Dyantyi, Franco Mostert and Handré Pollard.
By walking away with the most prestigious title on offer in South African rugby, Du Toit became only the fifth player since 1992 to claim the crown more than once. The others are Bryan Habana (2005, 2007 and 2012), Schalk Burger (2004 and 2011), Jean de Villiers (2008 and 2013) and Fourie du Preez (2006 and 2009).
Apart from captaining the Boks in their season-opener against Wales in the USA, Du Toit made a staggering 202 tackles, 128 ball-carries and took 28 lineouts in 14 Tests last year. He and Steven Kitshoff are the only players who featured in every Springbok match of 2018.
The Springbok Sevens team and their coach, Neil Powell, recorded a unique double when they were rewarded for another superb season in which they successfully defended their World Rugby Sevens Series title in dramatic fashion, by winning the awards for Team and Coach of the Year.
Dylan Sage, who made the World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team for 2017-18, was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.
Exciting midfielder Wandisile Simelane won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year, and Nolusindiso Booi, the Springbok Women’s captain, was named the Women’s Achiever of the Year for 2018.
Lions wing Aphiwe Dyantyi won the Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Year award after scoring seven tries in 15 matches, Western Province wing Sergeal Petersen was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year, while the Valke’s Etienne Taljaard, with 13 tries in seven appearances, won the accolade for the First Division.
The Rugby Challenge Player of the Year Award went to Chris Smith of the Pumas – he scored 131 points for the eventual champions – and Evan Roos of Western Province was the Craven Week Player of the Year.
Jaco Peyper, who refereed his fourth Currie Cup Premier Division final, as well as a Super Rugby semi-final and several important Tests, was named the Referee of the Year.
SA Rugby Awards winners:
Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit
Other nominees: Aphiwe Dyanyti, Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert, Handré Pollard
Young Player of the Year: Sbu Nkosi
Other nominees: Aphelele Fassi, Embrose Papier, RG Snyman, Damian Willemse
Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens
Other nominees: Lions (Vodacom Super Rugby), Sharks (Currie Cup)
Coach of the Year: Neil Powell
Other nominees: Swys de Bruin, Rassie Erasmus
Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Dylan Sage
Other nominees: Werner Kok, Ruhan Nel
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Wandisile Simelane
Other nominees: Salmaan Moerat, Tyrone Green, Damian Willemse
Vodacom Super Rugby Player of the Tournament: Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions)
Other nominees: Malcolm Marx, Franco Mostert (both Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Sergeal Petersen (Western Province)
Other nominees: SP Marais (Western Province), Akker van der Merwe (Sharks)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Etienne Taljaard (Valke)
Other nominees: Divan Nel (SWD Eagles), Anrich Richter (Valke)
Rugby Challenge Player of the Year: Chris Smith (Pumas)
Other nominees: Enver Brandt (Griquas), Ruwellyn Isbell (Pumas), Stefan Ungerer (Pumas)
Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Evan Roos (Western Province)
Referee of the Year: Jaco Peyper
Women’s Achiever of the Year: Nolusindiso Booi