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'I don't think any of them have played on a 4G pitch before'

(Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

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South African-born winger Kyle Steyn feels he and his Glasgow teammates can use their home environment to their advantage when they take on league newcomers Sharks. The Durban-based side are one of four new teams from Steyn’s native country to join the rebranded United Rugby Championship.


The Scotland back admits the artificial Scotstoun pitch took some getting used to when he first arrived in 2019 and Glasgow will have a full crowd behind them on Saturday for a competitive game for the first time in more than 18 months.

“I’m looking forward to it, it will be good to have these guys over here,” Steyn said. “I don’t think any of them have played on a 4G pitch before and certainly not in this kind of weather. Certainly coming over from South Africa the first time you get out on it, it’s something completely different. The bounce of the ball is definitely a wee bit harder.

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Arno Botha talks about the Bulls’ difficult introduction to the URC
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Arno Botha talks about the Bulls’ difficult introduction to the URC

“So it will be refreshing in terms of the style of game they will try to play and we will try to match that. They will bring over some incredible competition, especially once they have got their Springboks back. Teams like the Bulls had a tough weekend but they will be able to bounce back and get really competitive.

“And going to South Africa and winning there is going to be a tough ask. It’s a big place to go to get an away win, so there’s the added challenge of that too. But I can’t wait for a full Scotstoun.”

Steyn is looking for a flying start to the campaign after making his first appearance of last season in April having been struck down by a serious hamstring injury in the summer of 2020. “I haven’t had a pre-season in ages. I missed pre-season when I first came over and then, yeah… so this is the first one I’ve had since I’ve been in Scotland,” he said following the season-opening defeat to Ulster last Friday.


“And it was nice to have the downtime that comes before pre-season and refresh after the last 18 months where things have been strict through Covid. So it was nice to just relax, have a slow build-up and get the body feeling good and in good shape. So feeling good to go, which is exciting.”


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