Pieter-Steph du Toit named World Rugby Player of the Year

Pieter-Steph du Toit has been named World Rugby Player of the Year to cap his weekend after featuring prominently for South Africa as the Springboks defeated England in the Rugby World Cup final.

Du Toit, 27, won the award from Springboks teammate Cheslin Kolbe, Wales captain Alun Wyn Jones, New Zealand backrower Ardie Savea, England flanker Tom Curry and U.S. hooker Joe Taufete'e.

Rassie Erasmus was named as Coach of the Year, while the Springboks were named Team of the Year.

The Springboks were chosen in preference to fellow Rugby World Cup semifinalists England, Wales and New Zealand and Japan.

The Coach of the Year nominees along with Erasmus were Eddie Jones (England), Warren Gatland (Wales), Steve Hansen (New Zealand) and Jamie Joseph (Japan).

France fly-half Romain Ntamack was named Breakthrough Player of the Year, and England's Emily Scarratt was named Women's Player of the Year.

Du Toit was a colossus for the Springboks during the Rugby World Cup, and he dominated the breakdown during the final win over England -- helping South Africa secure seven turnovers and proving a menace for the English throughout the match.

He also made 11 tackles and set up fellow player of the year nominee Cheslin Kolbe for the decisive final try in the 32-12 win.

"This is probably one of the best moments of my life," Du Toit said.

"I think it is the two biggest experiences in the rugby world that you can get. It is as unbelievable experience for me and I couldn't be happier at the moment."

Erasmus, who will be stepping down as South Africa coach to return to his role as the country's director of rugby, not only secured the Springboks' third World Cup title but also led them to a first Rugby Championship win since 2009.

Under Erasmus, South Africa have lost only once in 2019, in the pool stages to New Zealand.

South Africa were ranked No. 7 in the world when Erasmus took over in March 2018, but they have returned to their traditional forwards-based game with extraordinary results.

"This has been a long journey to keep believing and trusting, and not getting frustrated with each other, keeping the belief going," Erasmus said.

"For me, it is significant that, no matter what, the boys always kept South Africa above their own interests, above their own egos, and always kept the Springboks and South Africa's interests up there."

Unsurprisingly, given their success over the past 12 months, South Africa also collected the team of the year award.

Captain Siya Kolisi collected the award on behalf of his team.

"I think it is probably going to sink in when we get home and see how people are back at home," Kolisi said.

Information from Reuters was used in this report.