Stormers coach John Dobson has confirmed that sought-after flank Pieter-Steph du Toit has agreed to remain in South Africa until at least the end of the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour. CRAIG LEWIS reports.
Du Toit has been at the centre of many reports ever since talk emerged that he was being targeted by more than one overseas club, with French giants Montpellier reported to be particularly interested in tabling a massive offer.
As one of the terms in an extensive joint-rescue plan to tackle the Covid-19 crisis, an industry collective agreement on salary reductions included a unique 21-day window allowing for players to cancel their current contracts in favour of overseas deals.
It was a contentious clause that potentially put South Africa’s top ‘marquee’ players at risk, but Dobson confirmed to SARugbymag.co.za that Du Toit would be going nowhere.
‘Pieter Steph always planned to stay and signed his contract to remain in South Africa until after the Lions tour at least. He obviously has family and other interests here that are a consideration for him, and it would not be that attractive to change all his plans to leave at such short notice.
‘He’s also acutely aware that his journey with the Stormers is not finished yet and we are really grateful for his commitment to us. I think it speaks volumes for him as a person, given what he could command [in earnings] as World Player of the Year, to decide to stay in South Africa and with the DHL Stormers.’