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Du Toit turns back on Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Currie Cup, Original Content, Sharks, Super Rugby on 7 Jul 2015 at 18:05
Tagged with : , , ,

What we have long feared – yet also suspected – has come to pass, with the Sharks today confirming that Pieter-Steph du Toit has rejected the opportunity to renew his contract. A statement from the Union, released earlier today, revels that du Toit will leave the Sharks when his current deal ends on 31 October.

In paying his tribute to the departing du Toit, Sharks CEO John Smit expressed his disappointment that the player – in whom the Sharks have invested much since plucking him from schoolboy obscurity – did not feel he was able to commit his playing future to the Durban side. While not officially confirmed, it’s widely expected that du Toit will soon sign a contract with Western Province, since he’s cited the desire to be closer to family as one of his key motivators.

Clearly younger brother Johan, also contracted to the Sharks and living in Durban, doesn’t count.

“Our medical team has invested immense time and effort into Pieter-Steph’s rehabilitation and recovery process and we are saddened to lose him,” said Smit earlier today, “but I guess we cannot hold the player back if he has made up his mind.” Successive knee injuries have meant that du Toit has played only a smattering of games – 8 at Super Rugby level and 5 in the Currie Cup – over the duration of his last 2-year contract.

Du Toit thanked the fans for allowing him to be a part of the Sharks family – but given that so little of the loyalty of which he spoke in an earlier interview has actually translated into anything tangible, it’s unclear just how willing the average Sharks fan will be to accept that thanks.

Currently training with the Sharks Currie Cup squad, it remains to be seen whether Gary Gold opts to use du Toit at all during the upcoming campaign.


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