Bok, Stormers star Pieter-Steph linked with move to Japan

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Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo)
Pieter-Steph du Toit (Gallo)

Springbok and Stormers flank Pieter-Steph du Toit is reportedly close to signing a two-year deal with Japanese club Toyota Verblitz.

Rapport newspaper said on Sunday that even though Du Toit was in high demand from several overseas clubs, his negotiations with Verblitz could be finalised as soon as this week.

The 28-year-old has not yet turned down an offer from his current employers, WP Rugby, but a source told the Afrikaans publication that the Stormers are preparing for life without Du Toit.

Du Toit, the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year, has been out of the game since March last year after suffering a haematoma in his leg in a Super Rugby game against the Blues at Newlands.

It developed into an acute compartment syndrome and at the time of the injury, Stormers team doctor Jason Suter said it was incredible rare and potentially career threatening.

Suter said there had only been 43 such cases listed in the literature worldwide and Du Toit could have lost his leg.

However after multiple surgeries, the haematoma is believed to have dissipated and Du Toit's quadricep muscle has recovered, allowing him to train again.

Playing in Japan could just be what the doctor ordered for Du Toit, given that the rugby over there is not as physical as some of the more demanding leagues in the world.

Other South Africans on the books of Toyota Verblitz include Springbok fullback Willie le Roux, lock Jason Jenkins and former Stormers and Kings flyhalf Lionel Cronje.

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