Pieter-Steph du Toit won the top prize at the Players' Choice Awards on Tuesday. Photo: Matthew Childs/Reuters

SANDTON – Lock-turned flank Pieter-Steph du Toit was the big winner at the third annual BrightRock Players Choice Awards in Johannesburg on Tuesday evening.

Du Toit walked away with the coveted 2019 Players’ Player of the Year award, following in the footsteps of Springbok hooker Malcolm Marx and Springbok captain, Siya Kolisi, won lifted the prestigious award in 2017 and 2018. 
He also took home the Defender and Forward of the Year awards.

The other big winner of the night was scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, he won the Best off the Bench Award, as well as the #LoveChange Award, which is presented to the player that has made great strides in his career over the past year. 

Wing Cheslin Kolbe was honoured with the Backline Player of the Year Award. 

The winners were decided by South Africa’s professional rugby players in a voting process that was run by MyPlayers, the South African rugby players’ organisation.

Rosko Specman scooped the Fans’ Choice Award, the only award voted for by the public, and secured R50 000 for his chosen charity. 

A notable moment of the evening was when South Africa’s professional rugby players donated R70 000 out of the players’ collective income, through MyPlayers to the Chris Burger Petro Jackson Players’ Fund. This fund supports rugby players who have sustained catastrophic head, neck or spinal cord injuries while on the field.

The list of winners:

Defender of the year: Winner: Pieter-Steph du Toit 

Forward Player of the year: Winner: Pieter-Steph du Toit

Backline Player of the year: Winner: Cheslin Kolbe  

Best off the bench: Herschel Jantjies 

Most-improved player over the past year: Herschel Jantjies 

The Fans’ Choice Award: Winner: Rosko Specman 

The Players’ Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit 

African News Agency (ANA)