Du Toit, Tuipulotu join Japan's Toyota Verblitz

Tokyo (AFP) –


Springbok flanker Pieter-Steph du Toit has signed with Japan's Toyota Verblitz as he attempts to recover from a shoulder injury, the team said Monday.

The Aichi-based rugby union club also acquired All Black Patrick Tuipulotu for the season from January to May.

Du Toit, the 2019 World Rugby Player of the Year, recently underwent surgery for a shoulder injury.

He is now in a race against the clock to be fit for Tests in Wales, Scotland and England in November.

"It is a privilege to be part of (the team) and I hope to justify the faith put in me by giving my very best on and off the field," du Toit said in a statement.

Tuipulotu will also join the Japanese team headed by former New Zealand coach Steve Hansen.

"I am very happy to be joining Toyota Verblitz, and hope I can add value and assist Toyota in their goal of being the best club in Japan," he said.

"It will be pleasing to see some familiar faces at the club... I am looking forward to my time in Japan and I am very grateful for this opportunity," Tuipulotu added.