Lock Pieter-Steph du Toit has ended weeks of speculation over his future by signing a new two-year deal at the Sharks, the Durban union announced on Friday.
Reports were rife over the past month, suggesting the out-of-contract 20-year-old was being targeted by some of the other major unions.
Du Toit, a member of the Junior Springbok team which won the Under-20 World Cup last year, is highly rated by national coach Heyneke Meyer and was in line for his senior national debut during in June before he was withdrawn due to injury.
“We are delighted to have secured the signature of a player of the calibre of Pieter-Steph,” said Sharks commercial manager Rudolf Straeuli.
“We not only identified him, but he has also been developed through the Sharks Academy and has a bright future ahead of him.”
New Sharks chief executive John Smit said he was thrilled the promising youngster would remain in Durban.
“Pieter-Steph has shown great promise and he has had a positive impact on the team, since joining the senior set-up,” Smit said.
Du Toit missed the back end of his team’s disappointing Super Rugby campaign with a sternum injury.
“As a 20-year-old rugby player, I am living my dream and I am extremely privileged to be identified by the Sharks as a player who can play a role in the province going forward,” Du Toit said.
“I will continue to learn from the many experienced players in our team and I hope that I can make the contribution required and expected of me.
“I will work as hard as I can and always do my best for the Sharks.” – Sapa