Sharks keep their young star

Fri, 19 Jul 2013 10:39
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The Sharks announced on Friday that Pieter-Steph du Toit has reaffirmed his commitment to the team by re-signing for a further two years.

The Sharks announced on Friday that Pieter-Steph du Toit has reaffirmed his commitment to the team by re-signing for a further two years.

The announcement brings to an end weeks of speculation about the 20-year-old's future - with both the Bulls and Stormers having shown interest in his services.

John Smit, the new Sharks CEO, was obviously delighted with the latest developments.

"Pieter-Steph has shown great promise and he has had a positive impact on the team, since joining the senior set-up," the World Cup-winning former Springbok captain, Smit, said.

"We are thrilled that he has reaffirmed his commitment to The Sharks."

The Sharks' Commercial Manager Rudolf Straeuli also expressed his delight at having retained the young lock forward.

"We not only identified him, but he has also been developed through the Sharks Academy," Straeuli said.

"He has a bright future ahead of him."

Du Toit, a Springbok training squad members, said that as a 20-year-old he is "living my dream".

"I am extremely privileged to be identified by the Sharks as a player who can play a role in the province going forward," he said.

"I will continue to learn from the many experienced players in our team and I hope that I can make the contribution required and expected of me.

"I will work as hard as I can and always do my best for the Sharks."

Retaining the services of Du Toit was vital for the Sharks, especially after lock Franco van der Merwe returned to the Lions in Johannesburg and Jandré Marais having signed with Bordeaux-Bègles in France.

Others leaving include utility back Meyer Bosman (to Stade Francais in France) and fullback Riaan Viljoen (Red Hurricanes in Japan).

Loose forward Ryan Kankowski and wing JP Pietersen are set for stints in Japan during the Currie Cup season, but will return for Super Rugby next year.

There has also been speculation over the future of brothers Jannie and Bismarck du Plessis.

Recent reports suggested that Jannie du Plessis has re-signed, while brother Bismarck has agreed to stay in Durban if he can get a decent Springbok contract.

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