Pieter-Steph du Toit is SA Rugby’s Player of the Year

RUGBY / 24 October 2016, 9:30pm

Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Johannesburg – Springbok lock stalwart Pieter-Steph du Toit has become the second lock in two seasons to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year.
The 24-year-old follows in the footsteps of Lood de Jager who picked up the award last year.

Pieter-Steph du Toit has become the second lock in two seasons to be named South African Rugby Player of the Year. Photo: Chris Ricco. Credit: BackpagePix

Du Toit won the race to the biggest individual award in local rugby; beating off the challenges of second row partner Eben Etzebeth and the trio of Lions players Warren Whiteley, Jaco Kriel and Ruan Combrinck.
The Lions though, after their strong showing in Super Rugby – which saw them go all the way to the final and produce a number of Bok players in the 2016 season – were well rewarded with boss Johan Ackermann winning the coach of the year award for the second year running and the Super Rugby side scooping the team of the year award.

Also, hooker Malcolm Marx won the award for Young Player of the Year, while Elton Jantjies was named Super Rugby Player of the Year.
Rookie centre Jacques Nel was also honoured for his try in the Currie Cup.
“Many of the players who won awards this year, will thrill us for many years to come and I’m certainly excited to see what the future holds for them and South African rugby in its entirety,” said acting Saru president Mark Alexander.
“It was a challenging year for South African rugby in many respects, but there were still a lot of wonderful achievements worth celebrating and all the players who won awards fully deserve to walk away with the spoils.”
The award winners are (followed by nominees in alphabetical order):
SA Rugby Player of the Year: Pieter-Steph du Toit
Nominees: Ruan Combrinck, Eben Etzebeth, Jaco Kriel, Warren Whiteley
Young Player of the Year: Malcolm Marx
Nominees: Curwin Bosch, Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Seabelo Senatla, RG Snyman
Players’ Player of the Year: Jean-Luc du Preez (Sharks)
Team of the Year: Lions (Super Rugby)
Nominees: Springbok Sevens, Free State Cheetahs (Currie Cup Premier Division)
Coach of the Year: Johan Ackermann (Lions, Golden Lions)
Nominees: Brent Janse van Rensburg (Boland), Neil Powell (Springbok Sevens)
Junior Springbok Player of the Year: Curwin Bosch
Nominees: Manie Libbok, Jeremy Ward
SA Sevens Player of the Year: Seabelo Senatla
Nominees: Kyle Brown, Rosko Specman
Super Rugby Player of Year: Elton Jantjies (Lions)
Nominees: Ruan Combrinck (Lions), Warren Whiteley (Lions)
Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year: Ox Nche (Free State Cheetahs)
Nominees: Huw Jones (Western Province), Nico Lee (Free State Cheetahs)
Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year: Masixole Banda (Border)
Nominees: Johan Deysel (Leopards), George Whitehead (Griffons)
Supersport Try of the Year: Jacques Nel (Golden Lions v WP, Currie Cup Premier Division)
Coca-Cola Craven Week Player of the Year: Damian Willemse (WP)
Referee Award: Rasta Rasivhenge
Springbok Women’s Achiever Award: Marithy Pienaar
Best Development Programme Award: Blue Bulls Rugby Union