South Africa’s World Cup winning back-rower Pieter Steph du Toit has been named World Rugby’s Player of the Year at the season-closing awards ceremony in Japan.
Du Toit, who has become one of the mainstays in the Springbok squad throughout the 2019 season, beat fellow nominees Cheslin Kolbe, Tom Curry (England), Alun Wyn-Jones (Wales), All Blacks flanker Ardie Savea and Joe Taufete’e (USA) to the award.
The 27-year-old also became the third South African to scoop the award after Schalk Burger in 2004 and Bryan Habana in 2007.
Meanwhile, England’s Emily Scarratt picked up the Women’s Player of the Year award.
Speaking upon receiving his award, Du Toit said: “First of all, everyone says this is a team sport and I cannot emphasise that more than what we achieved over the last few months, it has been incredible.
“For me personally, it is a massive honour to accept this award.”
South Africa also picked up the Team of the Year award after completing the Rugby Championship and Rugby World Cup double triumph.
✅ Coach of the Year: Rassie Erasmus
✅ Team of the Year: The Springboks
✅ Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit
— Springboks (@Springboks) November 3, 2019
Head coach Raise Erasmus, who will step down from his current role to return to his Director of Rugby position within the South African setup, received the Coach of the Year award as well.