The Stormers would love to hang on to Pieter-Steph du Toit, but if the star flanker is keen on making a move to Japan, the Cape-based team won’t stand in his way.
Du Toit has been linked with a lucrative move to Toyota Verblitz.
“We started talking to Pieter-Steph a while ago about staying on for a couple more years,” said Stormers boss John Dobson.
“However, we paused all discussions when he picked up that terrible leg injury.”
“I think of the 45 people who’ve had the same injury, 22 of them had their leg amputated, so you’re looking at 50 percent. A lot of people missed the humanity side of things in this case.
“There was a chance of him losing his leg and never being able to properly play with his kids in the garden.”
Dobson added the last 18 months, since the World Cup in Japan in 2019, had been a terribly traumatic time for the flanker.
“That is why we have decided Pieter-Steph must do what is best for him now,” said Dobson.
Du Toit is contracted to Western Province until the end of October and it’s no secret he is keen to play against the British and Irish Lions.
The former World Rugby Player of the Year was due to return to action next week against the Lions (in a Preparation Series match), but a nose injury means Du Toit will have to wait a little longer before running out in a competitive game again.
“He got a knock on his nose, which will prevent him from possibly returning next week,” explained Dobson.