Pieter-Steph du Toit leaves the Sharks

Du Toit is expected to be unveiled as a Western Province player in the coming days.

The Sharks lock Pieter-Steph du Toit. Picture: The Sharks Facebook.

CAPE TOWN - Springbok lock Pieter-Steph du Toit today confirmed his departure from the Sharks before the end of his contract, which expires in October 2015.

Having made his debut for the Sharks in 2012, du Toit with his strong physicality and presence has become an influential player for the franchise with strong performances that earned him Springbok colours in 2013.

Du Toit is expected to be unveiled as a Western Province player in the coming days, after the union's director of Rugby Gert Smal confirmed to EWN Sport that he met with the player a few weeks ago about a possible move to the Cape.

Commenting on his departure, Sharks CEO John Smit said they're disappointed to lose a player of Du Toit's quality.

"We are terribly disappointed to lose a player of the calibre of Pieter-Steph du Toit. Despite our best efforts to keep him in the province, he has chosen to move on.

"He was scouted and signed with the franchise whilst still in school and ever since his arrival in Durban, he has emerged as a stand-out performer. Sadly, he suffered two serious injuries which saw his 2014 and 2015 seasons being curtailed prematurely."

Du Toit thanked the Sharks for the support.

"This was the hardest decision of my life. The Sharks have always been good to me and if it was not for what the province has done for me I would never have been able to achieve from rugby what I have to date. For this, I will be forever grateful.

"My decision is one that has a specific focus now already for my life after rugby and also my family. Thank you to every Sharks employee and fan for the privilege I have had to be part of your family. All of you will always remain dear to me."