Du Toit hopes to become like his grandpa

2013-11-08 00:00

CARDIFF — Giant Springbok rookie Pieter-Steph du Toit wants to become like his legendary grandfather after he heard that he has been selected as a reserve for tomorrow’s rugby Test against Wales at the Millennium Stadium.

“I derive a lot of inspiration from the fact that he has been a Springbok and want to follow in his footsteps. Hopefully I will even become better,” said the new lock when he was asked about his granddad, Piet “Spiere” du Toit, as the powerhouse prop had been known.

Piet Spiere represented South Africa as a tighthead prop between 1958 to 1961 and played in 14 Tests, including in the series against the All Blacks in 1960, which the Boks won.

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer plans to make the 21-year-old Pieter-Steph du Toit the lock partner of Eben Etzebeth, who entered the rugby scene as yet another exciting Springbok prospect. Meyer, however, plans to expose Du Toit slowly to Test rugby.

The vision is to find a lock who can become the long-term wearer of the number five jersey, which had been worn by Victor Matfield until 2011.

“Pieter-Steph can develop into an outstanding number five lock once he has gained experience to play a leader’s role in the line-outs. In the long term, I want to see how he and Eben combine,” said Meyer.

Du Toit has already played a leading role in the line-outs for the Sharks during this year’s Currie Cup series.

“I am very comfortable in the line-outs and practised hard this past week. We also had video sessions with Johann van Graan [the forward coach]. He helped me a lot,” Du Toit said.

“I still have a lot to learn, but I am developing as a player and human being.”

Du Toit hopes to emulate Matfield in the not-too-distant future, but for now that remains merely a dream.

“Victor has been a brilliant player, the best in the world. I hope I can also reach those heights, but want to do it in my way.”

Meyer has already said that he believes Du Toit can become one of the best Springboks of all time. “It is nice to know somebody else also believes in me,” said Du Toit.

“Hopefully, I can realise my dreams and prove his words right.”

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