World Rugby player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit’s future with Western Province in limbo
Rugby World Cup-winning Springbok loose-forward and reigning World Rugby player of the year Pieter-Steph du Toit’s future with Western Province rugby is in limbo.
Du Toit‚ who has been capped 55 times by the Springboks since his 2013 debut‚ was one of three Western Province players who submitted notices to leave his contract in line with the 21-day contract exit window that ended on Thursday night.
He has been the subject of massive overseas transfer deals and opted to end his contract with Western Province Rugby.
Du Toit’s stay with the union is far from certain and Western Province said in a statement they reserved the right to hold players to their contracts.
The other players who took up the offer to leave were loose-forward Cobus Wiese and flyhalf Jean-luc du Plessis.
TimesLIVE understands that Du Toit has the intention of staying with Western Province‚ but with a new contract to be negotiated with certain concessions.
“As previously indicated by WP Rugby‚ the existing contracts between the players and the Company are considered as binding and WP Rugby has reserved the right to hold players to these contracts or exercise other rights that may be held‚” the statement said.
“These options will be discussed with the players that have purportedly cancelled their contracts and more information about the course of action will be provided in future.”
Stormers coach John Dobson had earlier this week raised the ethical shortcomings of letting players have right until the final moment to decide on their contracts.
“If a player thinks he has right up to the 13th to tell us whether he is leaving and then tries to exercise that right it would be a massive breach of rugby trust.
"Let’s put it this way‚ if a player did that he wouldn’t be leaving here with his reputation intact‚” Dobson said.
“The terms of the clause don’t allow us to have a conversation about money with the players‚ but we should at least be given the chance to have a conversation about where we see his future at the union.
"It would be a massive breach of rugby trust.”