Sharks youngster Du Toit heads to Boks camp

2012-04-25 00:00

HE is just 19 years old, and only made his Super Rugby debut against the Chiefs on Saturday, but Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit is already in the plans of new Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer.

Du Toit was rushed to Pretoria on Monday night to join Meyer’s Springbok planning camp, which consists of mainly Bulls and Sharks players because of their weekend byes.

It has been a whirlwind week for the young player.

A member of the wider South African U20 squad, Du Toit played in the opening international against Argentina, but last week he was called up to join the Sharks squad and was included among the replacements for Saturday’s game against the Chiefs.

Meyer said Du Toit had impressed him from the very start.

“I’ve rated Pieter-Steph highly since I first saw him play at Craven Week, and after his selection for the Sharks we saw it as an ideal opportunity to invite him to the camp.

“I also discussed the matter with national selector Ian McIntosh,” said Meyer.

“I’ve said from the start that age would not be a determining factor when I select a team, and bringing in someone like Pieter-Steph gives me the ideal opportunity to assess one of our best young players.”

The two-metre-tall, 114 kg Du Toit was born in Cape Town and attended Swartland High School.

He joined the Sharks Academy in Durban and turned out for the Sharks U21 team last year, although he was still U19.

A strong and robust player, he made an impact in the Sharks’ pre-season games this year and can play at either lock or flank.

The final Springbok planning camp takes place in Cape Town next week and will involve predominantly players from the Stormers. The names of the invited players will be released at the conclusion of the current camp.

Meanwhile, the Sharks walking wounded are slowly returning to action. Team doctor Ewoudt van der Linde told The Witness yesterday that wing Odwa Ndungane, who returned home early from the Super Rugby tour Down Under, would probably play in the Vodacom Cup match this weekend.

The Sharks XV are up against the Pampas XV and Ndungane should be in the side alongside Ryan Kankowski and Beast Mtawarira who have both recovered from their injuries.

Van der Linde said that reports that Willem Alberts, who left the field during the Sharks-Chiefs game, had aggravated a shoulder injury were not accurate.

“It is just bruising and I’m expecting him and Lwazi Mvovo [broken nose and concussion] to be back after this weekend’s bye and available for the Highlanders game,” said Van der Linde.

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