CAPE TOWN - Just in case you wondered how Pieter-Steph du Toit feels about playing at flank - it’s something he’s always dreamed about, according to the towering forward.
The A-grade international lock will again find himself on the side of the scrum this weekend as the Springboks look to make it a series whitewash over England at Newlands. Du Toit has been used in the back row at Super Rugby and international level before, and while the possibility of playing in his last Test at his home ground certainly does pull on the heart strings, the Stormers forward is looking forward to getting more game time in the No 7 jersey.
“I’m enjoying playing flank a lot, especially with the coaches trying to bring me into the game with the defensive system. It’s not that much different,” Du Toit said. “It’s nice to get more exposure there, when I was younger I always dreamed of playing flank for the Boks.”
The Boks of course didn’t get their international campaign off to an ideal start when they suffered a 22-20 defeat to Wales in the United States a few weeks ago. It was somewhat of an experimental team that didn’t have a lot of time to prepare for the fixture that did duty in Washington DC, and while their results against England have made up for that, Du Toit is nonetheless pleased that the coaches’ plan worked out in the end.
“Ahead of the first game we only had about two days to prepare, and we had to fly there and back, so it was quite tough with the jet lag,” he said. “But there was a plan and we tried to turn things around. And it actually worked for us.”
And while Du Toit’s Stormers teammate and loosehead prop Steven Kitshoff is wary of England’s ammunition up front, he’s confident about the preparation they’ve put in this week and that the Newlands crowd can expect a massive contest up front.
“England have a good pack, but we’re feeling quite confident,” Du Toit said. “We’re very confident in our preparation for the week. We just need to keep building as a pack, and just take every week as it comes. The English have a very good pack, so this week is going to be another big battle up front.”