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Pieter-Steph wins 2018 Rugby Player of Year

Pieter Steph du Toit during the DHL Stormers training session and press conference at DHL Newlands Stadium on May 25, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Pieter Steph du Toit during the DHL Stormers training session and press conference at DHL Newlands Stadium on May 25, 2017 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Image: Petri Oeschger/Gallo Images

Pieter-Steph du Toit was deservedly named 2018 SA Rugby Player of the year on Thursday following a stellar season last year to become only the fifth player to win the award twice since 1992.

The utility forward‚ who is equally comfortable at flank and lock‚ joined modern Bok greats Bryan Habana (2005‚ 2007 and 2012)‚ Schalk Burger (2004 and 2011)‚ Jean de Villiers (2008 and 2013) and Fourie du Preez (2006 and 2009) as multiple winners.

Du Toit also had the honour of becoming Springbok captain No 60 when he led the team against Wales in Washington last year.

The 26-year-old Du Toit‚ who has collected 46 caps since his Test debut in 2013‚ was sublime in the green and gold last year. His efforts on the field saw him edge out fellow Boks Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ Franco Mostert‚ Handré Pollard and last year’s winner‚ Malcolm Marx‚ for the top award.

Du Toit made a staggering 202 tackles‚ 128 ball carries and took 28 lineouts in 14 Tests last year. He and Steven Kitshoff are the only players who featured in every Springbok match of 2018.

“This is a magnificent achievement for Pieter-Steph and very well deserved after a superb season for the Springboks and the Stormers. On behalf of the entire South African rugby fraternity‚ I would like to congratulate him‚” said SA Rugby President Mark Alexander.

“Pieter-Steph was a tireless workhorse for the Springboks in 2018 and apart from the many big hits and strong runs he put in‚ he also played a key leadership role within the team.

“He’s only 26 and by all accounts he still has his best years ahead – something I’m sure most Bok supporters will keep a very keen eye on.”

Rassie Erasmus‚ director of rugby‚ said: “Pieter-Steph was simply superb last year and he thoroughly deserves this award.

“His contribution to the team‚ as a tireless workhorse who never gives up‚ but also as one of the leaders in our squad‚ was invaluable‚ and I would like to congratulate him on this wonderful achievement.”

The Springbok Sevens team and their coach‚ Neil Powell‚ recorded a unique double when they were rewarded for another superb season in which they successfully defended their HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title in dramatic fashion‚ by winning the awards for Team and Coach of the Year.

Dylan Sage‚ who made the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series Dream Team for 2017-18‚ was named Springbok Sevens Player of the Year.

Exciting midfielder Wandisile Simelane won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year and Nolusindiso Booi‚ the Springbok Women’s captain‚ was named the Women’s Achiever of the Year for 2018.

Springbok tourist Sergeal Petersen‚ who scored eight tries in eight matches for DHL Western Province last year‚ was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year‚ while the Valke’s Etienne Taljaard‚ with 13 tries in seven appearances‚ won the accolade for the First Division.

Jaco Peyper‚ who refereed his fourth Currie Cup Premier Division final and a Vodacom Super Rugby semifinal and several important Tests‚ was named the Outsurance Referee of the Year.

All the winners -

SA Rugby Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit

Other nominees: Aphiwe Dyanyti‚ Malcolm Marx‚ Franco Mostert‚ Handré Pollard

SA Rugby Young Player of the Year: Sbu Nkosi

Other nominees: Aphelele Fassi‚ Embrose Papier‚ RG Snyman‚ Damian Willemse

Team of the Year: Springbok Sevens

Other nominees: Emirates Lions (Vodacom Super Rugby)‚ Cell C Sharks (Currie Cup)

Coach of the Year: Neil Powell

Other nominees: Swys de Bruin‚ Rassie Erasmus

Springbok Sevens Player of the Year: Dylan Sage

Other nominees: Werner Kok‚ Ruhan Nel

Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Wandisile Simelane

Other nominees: Salmaan Moerat‚ Tyrone Green‚ Damian Willemse

Super Rugby Player of the Tournament: Aphiwe Dyantyi (Emirates Lions)

Other nominees:

Malcolm Marx‚ Franco Mostert (both Emirates Lions)

Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Sergeal Petersen (DHL Western Province)

Other nominees: SP Marais (DHL Western Province)‚ Akker van der Merwe (Cell C Sharks)

Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Etienne Taljaard (Valke)

Other nominees: Divan Nel (SWD Eagles)‚ Anrich Richter (Valke)

SuperSport Rugby Challenge Player of the Year: Chris Smith (ISG Pumas)

Other nominees: Enver Brandt (Tafel Lager Griquas)‚ Ruwellyn Isbell (ISG Pumas)‚ Stefan Ungerer (ISG Pumas)

Craven Week Player of the Tournament: Evan Roos (DHL Western Province)

Referee of the Year: Jaco Peyper

Women’s Achiever of the Year: Nolusindiso Bo

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