Pieter-Steph du Toit has been rewarded for his good form with his big win at the World Cup and the World Rugby awards. Photo: EPA
JOHANNESBURG - If ever there was a player who did his talking on the field, rather than in the press or on social media, it is Pieter-Steph du Toit.

He may be softly spoken and shy even, but he is the exact opposite between the four white lines and it is no surprise that the 27-year-old has finally been recognised as the world’s best, named at the weekend as World Rugby Player of the Year for 2019.

When you consider he was named SA Rugby’s Player of the Year in 2016 and 2018, it was always only going to be a matter of time before he won the biggest award of them all.

Du Toit is what one could describe as a silent assassin. He goes about his work without fanfare or pomp but when he is done you know he’s left his mark.

If it’s not his tireless working off the ball, tackling again and again, it’s his powerful carries, again and again, that help get his team over the advantage line, and on top of the opposition.

Then he also wins ball and causes problems for the opposition in the line-outs.

He also has an engine - as coaches like to call it - that never runs out of petrol. He goes and goes, and goes again.

In fact, Du Toit is so fit and strong, and crucial to his team, that he rarely gets substituted.

In this year’s Rugby Championship he made 36 tackles in three games to be placed first, while at the World Cup he made 61 tackles in five matches to be ninth.

He started nine of the Springboks’ 12 Tests this year and came off the bench in one to be one of the squad’s most active players.

And, let’s not forget, the big No 7 only switched to the flank from lock two years ago.

His value is immense and it’s no surprise he’s been referred to as a machine.

Worthy of being called the world’s best? You bet he is!


The Star