Although Pieter-Steph du Toit was one of three players who submitted a contract termination notice before the deadline on 14 May, it’s believed he may still not be lost to the Stormers.
It what has become an ever-changing situation that could be referred to as ‘Du Toit-gate’ once all the dust is settled, WP Rugby confirmed on Saturday that the World Player of the Year had opted to cancel his contract as SA rugby’s 21-day exit window ended this past weekend.
But, as previously reported by SARugbymag.co.za, it’s believed Du Toit’s intention was and is still to remain in South Africa.
It’s understood that a new contract – with certain amendments – could still be negotiated to keep Du Toit in the Cape, where he has family and is close to their much-loved farm in Riebeek-Kasteel.
While WP and the Stormers have bid farewell to Cobus Wiese and Jean-Luc du Plessis, the situation is not so cut and dry with Du Toit.
‘As previously indicated by WP Rugby, the existing contracts between the players and the Company are considered as binding and WP Rugby has reserved the right to hold players to these contracts or exercise other rights that may be held,’ the statement read. ‘These options will be discussed with the players that have purportedly cancelled their contracts and more information about the course of action will be provided in future.’
Should Du Toit accept the terms of a new contract that is being negotiated, he will remain put.
If there is to be yet another twist, though, and an agreement is not reached, it’s an open secret that he is highly sought after by more than one overseas club.
Yet, this website received reliable reassurances on Saturday that the player’s desire was to remain in South Africa, which was recently backed up by Stormers coach John Dobson.
Meanwhile, WP Rugby’s statement confirmed the 2021 move to Cape Town Stadium remained on track.
‘While everyone is sad to say goodbye to Newlands, the opportunity to deliver an exceptional match-day experience in a truly world-class environment is extremely motivating. Watching rugby at Cape Town Stadium will become one of the must-see experiences in world rugby, just as Newlands has been. The experience will attract not only rugby fans, but sport fans in general who want a unique experience.’