Pieter-Steph du Toit. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ESA ALEXANDER
Pieter-Steph du Toit. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES/ESA ALEXANDER

Current SA Player of the Year Malcolm Marx and 2016 SA Player of the Year Pieter-Steph du Toit are two of five nominees for the 2018 SA Rugby Player of the Year award.

The other three nominees are Lions wing Aphiwe Dyantyi‚ who recently won the World Rugby Breakthrough Player of the Year award. Lions and Gloucester lock Franco Mostert‚ and Bulls flyhalf Handré Pollard‚ complete the nominations.

Dyantyi‚ Mostert and Marx are also nominated in the 2018 Super Rugby Player of the Year category. The Young Player of the Year category sees Springbok lock RG Snyman against four backs in Aphelele Fassi‚ Sbu Nkosi‚ Embrose Papier and Damian Willemse.

Two teams and their coaches were nominated in the categories for Team and Coach of the Year – Blitzbok mentor Neil Powell and Swys de Bruin of the Lions‚ who finished runners-up in Super Rugby.

They are joined by SA Rugby ’s director of rugby Rassie Erasmus (Coach of the Year nomination) and Currie Cup Premier Division champions‚ the Sharks (Team of the Year nomination).

“These are exciting times for South African rugby and the number of new players who made their mark for the Springboks is encouraging for the future‚” said Mark Alexander‚ president of SA Rugby.

“I would like to congratulate all the nominees for their outstanding performances and wish them well for 2019‚ which is a huge year for us.

“The Springboks have shown a great resurgence under Rassie Erasmus and his coaching team and the fact that the media nominated him as one of the three coaches of the year is testimony to this,” Alexander said.

“We believe we are heading in the right direction in our preparation for the Rugby World Cup in 2019.

“We’re also very proud of the Blitzboks and their coach‚ Neil Powell‚ who recently started their defence of the World Rugby Sevens Series trophy‚ which has stood proudly in SA for the past two years.”

The nominations for the Junior Springbok Player of the Year award were close‚ with four players making the shortlist – Tyrone Green‚ Salmaan Moerat‚ Wandisile Simelane and Damian Willemse.

And the three Blitzboks who are nominated for the Springbok Sevens Player of the Year award are Werner Kok‚ Ruhan Nel and Dylan Sage, who was included in the World Rugby Sevens Aphiwe Dyantyi Dream Team.