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The 'absolute machine' heading for Warren Gatland's British and Irish Lions

By Chris Jones
Reigning World Rugby Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit has breathed new life into the value of a blindside flanker on the pitch. (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

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Stormers head coach John Dobson has some bad news for Warren Gatland and his British and Irish Lions by revealing Springbok World Cup-winning flanker Peter Steph du Toit is “an absolute machine” three games into his come back from a career-threatening leg injury.


Du Toit, named Word Rugby Player of the Year after helping the Springboks beat England in the 2019 World Cup final in Japan, is currently taking part in the latest Springbok alignment camp in preparation for the Lions tour as the Rainbow Cup takes a break with his latest outing helping the Cape Town outfit defeat the Sharks 25-22.

Dobson has seen how du Toit has battled back from complications following a leg injury to prove he can be a major force in the three-test series with the Lions this summer. Dobson said: “He’s an absolute machine. Those first two games (back) he played were remarkable and it was as if the guy had never been injured. I would suggest he that he was a bit quieter(against the Sharks) than he was in his first two against Sharks and the Bulls but he is a remarkable machine. It’s great for South African rugby and we are very proud of him.”

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Spirit of Rugby – Ep 2h
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Spirit of Rugby – Ep 2h

Du Toit was injured in February 2020 suffering a hematoma that developed into a rare acute compartment syndrome forcing surgeons to cut through the muscle in his leg to relieve the pressure. The flanker is understandably delighted to be back playing and told SuperSport TV: “It’s unbelievable to play again and to have no injuries is a big privilege for me.”

Dobson said: “We will have nine guys out at the alignment camp. We will probably let Ruhan Nel go and spend the week with the [Springbok] Sevens team. So, there is not much we can do in terms of team preparation. All we can do is train the rest of the squad as best we can. We will keep all the analysis and our plans for the Bulls game for Monday week. There’s no point in doing it without nine or 10 of our players here.”


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