Du Toit: It was an easy decision

HARARE - When former Ireland Under-20 scrumhalf Peter Du Toit received a call to represent Zimbabwe, where he was born, he answered the call without much hesitation.

That was despite the fact that doing so would mean giving up on playing test rugby for Ireland, a country he has represented at both Under-18 and Under-20 levels.

Returning to represent his country of birth would also mean giving up a lot of things, including a potential test career with world-class rugby side.

But matters of the heart are never easily explained.

The 23-year-old scrumhalf, who is contracted to Irish club giants Leinster, soon found himself getting onto the plane to his African homeland to join the Sables for their World Cup qualifying tournament preparations.

“To be honest, it was sort of unexpected. I had just got back to Ireland from Australia,” du Toit tells the Daily News.

“I don’t know, it didn’t take much deciding when they said ‘can you come play for the Zimbabwe. We can make the World Cup. We gonna play against Namibia.’

“It just kind of clicked. I hadn’t come back in like six, seven years because most of my family is in South Africa.

“So I jumped on the opportunity to come back to Zimbabwe.  I grew up in Zim, I went to Hartmann House.

“I moved to Ireland when I was I was 12 to live with my mother after my parents had divorced. It was also bit of a hustle in the country at that time.”

Du Toit, however, admits he was under no illusion of the trying times which lay ahead if he were to honour the call.

“When I was called it was different,” he says. 

“Obviously you feel straight away the lack of finance because with the Irish, it’s all professional. Everything is taken care for you whereas here it very much on every individual.

“Guys are doing it mainly for the passion. It’s pretty much amateur here, mainly for the love of the game. That was the first noticeable change. But the passion is the same.”

Du Toit is the second player in Zimbabwe’s squad who has represented a different country at youth level after flank Andrew Rose, who played for Scotland’s Under-20s.

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