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Springbok Steven Kitshoff unveiled at first Ulster training session

By Josh Raisey
Steven Kitshoff of South Africa thanks the support after the Rugby World Cup France 2023 match between England and South Africa at Stade de France on October 21, 2023 in Paris, France. (Photo by Julian Finney - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Three weeks after winning his second World Cup winner’s medal, Steven Kitshoff’s life as an Ulster player has begun.


The South African loosehead prop’s long awaited arrival in Belfast became a reality at the weekend over a year after the move was initially announced. And no sooner had he landed than he was out training with his new team at the Kingspan Stadium.

Ulster catalogued the 31-year-old’s arrival on Sunday from Cape Town, before sharing a video of him running out a day later to train ahead of a trip to Glasgow on Saturday in the United Rugby Championship.

The 83-cap prop could make his first Ulster appearance against the Glasgow Warriors, which would be his first outing since leaving the Stade de France pitch on 52 minutes with the Springboks holding a 12-6 lead against the All Blacks. Kitshoff featured in all seven of South Africa’s matches in their World Cup winning campaign, as he did in 2019 as well, starting in all three knockout matches. With Glasgow sitting in second place in the URC and Ulster one place behind them, head coach Dan McFarland will surely want the services of a double World Cup winner as he seeks to leapfrog their opponents.

Kitshoff will continue a strong legacy of South Africans representing Ulster, with his fellow World Cup winner Duane Vermeulen being the most recent member of that list. Marcell Coetzee and Ruan Pienaar are two other popular former Springboks in the province.

After his signing was announced last year, Kitshoff said: ” It’s my ambition to be part of the squad that takes that next step and secures silverware for the province.” Following a strong start to the season, winning four of their first five games, the Springboks’ arrival is only going to boost their chances of silverware this season.





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