South Africa's Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit says a season without injuries has contributed to his success on the field.
Stormers lock Du Toit was on Monday named SA's Rugby Player of the Year and paid tribute to coaches and team-mates who believed in him even when he went through tough times with injuries.
"I am very thankful to have played this season without any injuries," Du Toit said.
"My team-mates helped me to make this award possible and there are coaches who believed in me and supported me during the tough times. I've been through tough times and it wasn't always easy to stay positive."
Du Toit describing a lack of injuries as the highlight of his season shows just how poor the Springboks have fared this season. The lock admitted it had been a difficult year for the Boks.
"The coaching staff received a lot of criticism but they protected the players. I have to thank them for that. There were tough times, but we want to finish the season on a good note and continue that next season," he said.