Select Edition

Northern Northern
Southern Southern
World World
NZ NZ
Back

Leinster in hunt for 'big name' lock as Ulster miss out on 'bomb squad' Bok

By Ian Cameron
Steven Kitshoff on the charge /Getty

Trending on RugbyPass

More News More News

Leinster are in the market for a ‘big name’ southern hemisphere second row as they look to reinforce their options in the engine room.

ADVERTISEMENT

The likelihood that the URC heavyweights will be without the services of both James Ryan and Ryan Baird during internationals window into the foreseeable, combined with the inevitable retirement of stalwart Devin Toner, appears to be behind the move.

Toner, who signed a one-year contract extension last season after much toing and froing, hasn’t featured for Ireland since February 2020. Though the 35-year-old may have a season or even two left in the tank, Leinster may have half an eye on a longer-term mix.

Video Spacer

Guess the Olympic Gold medal hero | Max Whitlock | England Rugby
Video Spacer
Guess the Olympic Gold medal hero | Max Whitlock | England Rugby

Leinster regular Ross Moloney has proved to be an able lieutenant for the Dublin-based side, having amassed well over one hundred caps for the province since he debuted in 2015. Beneath him there’s a significant experience gap with 23-year-old prospect Jack Dunne. The 6’8, 120kg lock has made 15 appearances to date and is still very much in his professional rugby infancy.

Head coach Leo Cullen never replaced Wallaby utility forward Scott Fardy with a like-for-like. The Australian retired at the end of 2020/21 after four successful seasons.

Leinster have a track record of big-name forwards penning contracts to come to Dublin and experience brand Leinster. Some have been hugely successful – others not so much.

Brad Thorn, Rocky Elsom, Nathan Hines and Ollie Le Roux [as well as the aforementioned Fardy], all enjoyed celebrated stints in the RDS, becoming firm fan favourites in the process.

ADVERTISEMENT

They’ve been misses too of course – with Steven Sykes, Owen Finnegan and Kane Douglas all notable flops.

Meanwhile, Ulster appear to have missed out on adding another Springbok signing to the roster.

RugbyPass understands that the northern province have missed out on Stormers loosehead Steven Kitshoff. Kitshoff does not have an exit clause in his current contract, meaning any move would have to be facilitated with a hefty ‘transfer fee’ that apparently ruled out Ulster’s interest.

ADVERTISEMENT

In all likelihood, this means that he’s most likely heading to France, where he previously spent three seasons with Bordeaux Begles.

Ulster will have to make do with No.8 Duane Vermeulen.

Comments

Join free and tell us what you really think!

Join Free
ADVERTISEMENT
RUGBYPASS+
RUGBYPASS+ The All Blacks have found their No 12 - and must stick with him The All Blacks have found their No 12 - and must stick with him
Search