Thomas du Toit makes ‘aspirations clear’ to Rassie Erasmus after missing out on Springboks’ World Cup success

James While
Bath prop Thomas du Toit alongside Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus.

Bath prop Thomas du Toit alongside Springboks head coach Rassie Erasmus.

Thomas du Toit may have missed out on the Springboks Rugby World Cup but the in-form Bath prop is determined to get back in Rassie Erasmus’ squad.

The 29-year-old was involved in the build-up to the global tournament, playing three matches in 2023, but the tighthead missed out on the final 33-man group.

Since then, Du Toit has moved to England and enjoyed a remarkable campaign in the West Country, putting himself back in Test contention.

New cycle

There’s little doubt that with a new World Cup cycle started, the former Shark is likely to be a key component of the South Africa’s defence of their title.

Whilst part of the squad in 2019, Du Toit missed out to Trevor Nyakane in 2023, but he admitted that he still places the Boks above anything else in his rugby ambitions.

“I’ve made my aspirations clear. I’ll do anything to retain my jersey and there’s an exciting block of games this summer,” he told Planet Rugby.

“I want to be involved and I know I’ve done everything in my power to get back, so I know that if they select me, it’s for the right reasons, but I also know if they don’t then there’s nothing more that I could do, and I’m entirely at comfort in that.”

Springboks prop Thomas du Toit insists Bath’s ‘collective journey’ under ‘uplifting’ Johann van Graan won’t be defined by Premiership final

Du Toit’s impressive work in the set-piece and has been allied by his simply ridiculous try-scoring antics this season.

Since joining Bath at the beginning of the campaign, the prop has confounded tradition by becoming a scoring machine, snaring seven in the Premiership and a further four in Europe.

That has taken his tally to a quite remarkable 11 from 25 appearances, a statistic that’s likely to have him expelled from the front-row union!

For a man who scored just 12 in 150 games for the Sharks, there’s a question around why try-scoring has become synonymous with Du Toit and one that the big man relishes answering.

‘Explosive ability’

“Firstly, I’m not the only front-rower at Bath that’s done well crossing the whitewash this season,” Du Toit said. “Beno has a few, as does Tom Dunn and don’t forget Niall Annett scored a vital try on Saturday in the semi-final.

“But the simple truth is that the coaching team identified that I had explosive ability in the close carry over one or two metres, and we worked on getting me, and others, with ball in hand in threatening positions.

“It has been a positive plan to create a competitive advantage from the skills that the backroom staff identified and it’s certainly something I’m not complaining about.

“We practice this quite a bit now – everyone has a role and sure, there’s an element of luck in being in the right place at the right time – but yes, the coaches asked me to work on it and I’ve enjoyed it.”

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