Pieter-Steph du Toit joined an elite club on Thursday when he was named 2018 SA Rugby Player of the Year.
The versatile Stormers and Springbok forward won the award for the second time in three years after also picking it up in 2016 to become one of five multiple winners since 1992 – the year he was born.
The others are Bryan Habana (2005, 2007 and 2012), Schalk Burger (2004 and 2011), Jean de Villiers (2008 and 2013) and
Fourie du Preez (2006 and 2009).
He beat out competition from the likes of 2017 winner Malcolm Marx and World Rugby’s 2018 Breakout Player Aphiwe Dyantyi thanks to an amazing year in the Green and Gold.
Apart from captaining the Boks in their season-opener against Wales in the USA, Du Toit made a staggering 202 tackles, 128 ball carries and took 28 lineouts in 14 Tests last year.
Slotting in at lock and flank when needed, the 26-year-old and Steven Kitshoff are the only players who featured in every Springbok match of 2018.
Bok boss Rassie Erasmus says: “Pieter-Steph was simply superb last year and he thoroughly deserves this award.
“His contribution to the team, as a tireless workhorse who never gives up, but also as one of the leaders in our squad, was invaluable, and I would like to congratulate him on this wonderful achievement.”
Sharks and Bok flyer Sbu Nkosi was named the Young Player of the Year after debuting for the national team last year, scoring four tries in six Tests with a huge work rate on the right wing.
In the other categories, Nkosi’s Bok partner Dyantyi was named the Super Rugby Player of the Year award and Sharks and Baby Boks centre Wandisile Simelane won the award for Junior Springbok Player of the Year.
Sergeal Petersen, who scored eight tries in eight matches for Western Province last year, was the Currie Cup Premier Division Player of the Year.