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Bath statement: 'Behemoth prop' Thomas du Toit joining next season

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Bath have bolstered their roster for 2023/24 with yet another Test-level signing, unveiling Springboks tighthead Thomas du Toit as their latest edition. Nearing the end of his first season in charge at The Rec, Johann van Graan has been busy overhauling a squad that next season will also include Scotland’s Finn Russell.

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A statement on du Toit, the prop red-carded at Twickenham last November, read: “Bath Rugby can confirm the signing of Rugby World Cup-winning international tighthead prop Thomas du Toit.

The physically menacing front row, who featured in the Springboks’ 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign in Japan, will join the blue, black and white after the 2023 Rugby World Cup along with British and Irish Lions and Scotland fly-half Finn Russell.

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“A devastating force in the scrum, du Toit provides another strong ball-carrying option for the club following on from the recruitment of Alfie Barbeary, Ted Hill and Ollie Lawrence. He has featured 15 times for the Springboks to date and also has the ability to play loosehead prop, as shown during his time at The Sharks.

“Hailing from Paarl Boys’ High, du Toit was a roaring presence as a ball carrier and a scrummager in his teens, earning South Africa Schools caps in 2013. A year later he moved from Western Province to the Sharks in what proved to be a mammoth year as he represented his country at the U20 Junior World Championship, finishing as a runner-up, before earning his first Super Rugby caps.

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“Since then, the behemoth prop has developed into a world-class operator, playing for the Springboks during their 2019 Rugby World Cup title-winning campaign, just a year after his international debut against Wales. He has also grown into a leader which has seen him captain The Sharks and South Africa A.

“Du Toit, who is a Sharks centurion and is also capped by the Barbarians, has experience of playing outside of South Africa, joining Munster for a brief stint in 2016.”

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Head of rugby van Graan said: “Thomas is a winner. He has experience winning at the highest level, having reached the pinnacle of world rugby with the Springboks. He is a world-class operator at scrum time.

“There are not many players in the world who can play on both sides of the scrum to an international standard, maintain control and have destructive power. He is another player we have added to our squad who also possesses fantastic carrying ability to get his side over the gain line.

“Thomas is a fantastic leader having been captain of The Sharks and South Africa A and we are delighted he has chosen Bath to continue his rugby journey.”

Du Toit added: “When I spoke to Johann and heard his vision for Bath, I was excited and knew it was the place I wanted to be. I want to challenge myself and develop my game in an environment that has the desire to progress and achieve.

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“Everyone talks about how iconic a place The Rec is to play at, and I have heard that supporters pack it out every time which is special. I can’t wait to meet everyone and contribute to the club’s future success.”

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