Bok discard tops Premiership stats

SPOTLIGHT: Thomas du Toit has been pure gold for Bath since joining the Premiership club from the Sharks but is his performance tinged gold enough for Springbok colours this season?

Since players based in Europe, the UK and Ireland will not be considered for the Boks' first Test of the season against Wales at Twickenham, Du Toit will not feature in that Test, and time will tell if he is still on the Bok selector's radar for the rest of the international season.

The Springbok prop has helped to transform the English strugglers into a team that narrowly lost out on the Premiership title and contended for the first time since 1996.

In the Final Du Toit produced an all-time great prop performance.

He could have easily been the player of the match even in defeat. He was sublime in every facet of the game and dominated on both sides of the scrum.

He made more tackles than any other player in the Final (17), three of which were dominant while he also scored his eighth try of the season.

Talking about the value Du Toit has brought to Bath, coach Johann van Graan stated: "I saw an opportunity from a salary cap perspective that you need a prop that can play both sides of the scrum and I searched for, in my view, the best player in the world that fits that and Thomas has been even better than expected.

"He is durable, he can play 80 minutes as a loosehead and as a tighthead. He is incredibly good as a defender because that is what tightheads need to do. They need to scrum, they need to defend, and then if you can add the things that he can do.

"He can poach, he is explosive. Some of the tries he has scored from 20 yards out. The try against Northampton, but what he has added to his game now is he is one of the best two or three metres out.

"In my view the guys who are close to the best in the world, guys like (Andrew) Porter, like (Gavin) Coombes of Munster, Thomas du Toit is there now with two or three metres out. The number of times he will touch the ball and he scores.

"The next bit is he is incredibly disciplined. He doesn't really give scrum penalties and he is dependable. So yeah, he has become a very big player for us."

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