Pieter-Steph du Toit, who over the last two weeks has been the subject of one of the biggest transfer stories in South African rugby history, will take a pay cut at the Stormers.
The 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year last Thursday exited his contract with Western Province during a 21-day window that gave players the freedom to do so, but since then he has withdrawn his contract termination and he will remain a Stormer until at least the end of the 2021 British & irish Lions tour.
While the specifics of Du Toit’s new arrangement are not public knowledge at this stage, coach John Dobson confirmed on the Stormers website on Thursday that Du Toit, like everybody else, would be taking a pay cut.
“Pieter-Steph was always going to be a more complex case because of the fact he is the World Rugby Player of the Year and the interest in him,” Dobson said.
“He has bought into the collective bargaining agreement and like the other players has taken the same pay cut and wants to be part of our future here. I think that is credit to him because I think the pressure would have been substantial.
“The one thing about him is that it doesn’t matter what the game is or who he is playing for, the way he works on the field, his physicality and gives 100% is incredible.
“He has had a serious injury and is busy with his rehab, but now that we have got clarity that really needs to be accelerated. We are hoping that he will be available when we get back on the field.”
Dobson also praised the work of the Western Province board and president Zelt Marais in holding onto Du Toit and their other big-name players.
“It was obviously great for us to keep the rest of the squad, a lot of credit must go to those big-name players who were in demand and who were loyal from the start of the 21-day period,” he said.
“The support from the board and the shareholder in keeping Pieter-Steph and this amazing squad together has been absolutely incredible. We don’t have billionaire equity partners, we are owned by our clubs, which are going through enormous stress themselves.
“So the support of our shareholder (WPRFU) which is owned by the clubs, allowed us to do this.
“We must give a lot of credit to Zelt Marais the president and his executive for supporting us. It is great for the region and we are very grateful for that.”
– Compiled by Sport24 staff