Springbok forward Pieter-Steph du Toit joins Japanese side Toyota Verblitz

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TOKYO, JAPAN - NOVEMBER 03: Pieter-Steph Du Toit of South Africa poses after being named the Men's 15s Player of the Year during the World Rugby Awards on November 03, 2019 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Matt Roberts - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit has joined Japanese side Toyota Verblitz ahead of the Japan Rugby League One season which begins in January next year.

Du Toit, the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year, in a statement said he was happy to be joining a “well respected” club that “reflects hard work, high performance and elite standards”.

FILE PHOTO: Pieter-Steph Du Toit of South Africa poses after being named the Men’s 15s Player of the Year during the World Rugby Awards in 2019. /Getty Images

“It is a privilege to be part of such an environment and I hope to justify the faith put in me by giving my very best on and off the field,” he said.

“Meeting my new team-mates and working hard to achieve the goals of the club and hopefully make the supporters proud are expectations I am very much looking forward to.”

The 29-year-old is currently recovering from a shoulder injury suffered during the second Test against the British & Irish Lions.

Du Toit underwent surgery on his shoulder last month and will miss the Rugby Championship in Australia. He, however, hopes to be fit in time for the end-of-year tour against England, Wales and Scotland in November.

Alongside du Toit, Toyota Verblitz also announced the signing of New Zealand lock Patrick Tuipulotu.

(Story compiled with assistance from wire reports)

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