Bulls target talented Du Toit

2013-07-19 00:00

THE Bulls and former Springbok captain Victor Matfield are in fierce pursuit of Pieter-Steph du Toit, but the 20-year-old Sharks lock is expected to stay on in Durban.

Matfield, the Bulls assistant coach, said yesterday he regarded Du Toit as one of the most talented players in South Africa and he was desperate to lure him to Pretoria.

“I think every union in this country is after Pieter-Steph du Toit,” Matfield said yesterday.

“He’s a great player. He’s been playing mostly at No. 4 and at blindside flank. He wants to develop into a No. 5 lock.

“I think he can do it, but it probably depends on where he’s going to play and who’s going to help him.”

Matfield said that South Africa was short of No. 5 locks and he hoped to be in a position to assist the young lock. “It would be nice to have him at the Bulls. We’ll have to wait and see.”

The Sharks, however, are equally determined to hang on to the young lock, who missed the second half of the Super Rugby season because of injury.

Both Sharks CEO John Smit and commercial manager Rudolf Straeuli have been in negotiations with Du Toit.

Du Toit is considered one of the brightest prospects in South African rugby and national coach Heyneke Meyer had included him in his Springbok squad before he was sidelined by injury.

Smit is also bringing former Springbok lock Marco Wentzel, who has been playing club rugby for Wasps in England, to King’s Park and he will help in the development of the Sharks’ second-rowers.

Straeuli told The Witness last week that the Du Plessis brothers, Bismarck and Jannie, had committed themselves to the Sharks.

The Durban team will be losing centre Meyer Bosman and lock Jandre Marais to French clubs while fullback Riaan Viljoen has signed to play in Japan.

Springbok wing JP Pietersen and No. 8 Ryan Kankowski will also spend the rest of the year playing club rugby in Japan, but they will be back in Durban for the start of the 2014 Super Rugby season.

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