Bringing a close to one of the most highly publicised transfer stories in South African rugby history, Pieter-Steph du Toit will stay at the Stormers, the franchise confirmed on Thursday.
The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year exercised his option to exit his existing contract with Western Province last week, and though lucrative offers were on the table from clubs in France and Japan, it was understood at the time that his intention was to enter into a new agreement with the union.
While his future had seemed uncertain during negotiations, the Stormers revealed on their website that Du Toit had withdrawn his contract termination notification.
He would stay with the Stormers until at least the end of the 2021 British and Irish Lions tour to South Africa.
While it had not been easy to reach a conclusion, Western Province Rugby board member Andre van der Veen said it was satisfying to announce a resolution which suited all parties involved.
“Pieter-Steph wanted to stay at Western Province Rugby, he is a true team man, who is integral to our plans,” Van der Veen said.
“We committed to finding an equitable solution for him and the entire team and we are pleased to be able to officially confirm it.”
According to Stormers coach John Dobson, keeping experienced players like Du Toit and the other seven World Cup winners in the squad was a crucial element in the vision of rewarding the rugby community in the Cape with a team of wthey could be proud.
“Pieter-Steph is an important team member. His extraordinary work-rate, coupled with his ball carrying skills, makes our forward pack even more formidable,” Dobson said.
“The rehabilitation on his injury is progressing well and we are looking forward to seeing him in a Stormers jersey again when we get back on the field.
“Not only is this good for the Stormers and Western Province Rugby, but it is also good for South African rugby that we have kept such prominent players in the country, looking ahead at the post-pandemic rugby offering and market. “We are proud as a union of our achievement of contracting eight Rugby World Cup winning Springboks in the province and keeping them in the country.”