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Van Der Walt: 'He's a big legend in South African rugby... It's exciting'

(Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

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Edinburgh’s Jaco Van Der Walt is relishing the prospect of locking horns with South Africa icon Morne Steyn this weekend.


The 37-year-old Springboks legend this week joined up with the Bulls squad ahead of their trip to the Scottish capital for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship match.

Steyn has been on international duty in recent months and kicked the late penalty that clinched the Test series against the British and Irish Lions in the summer.

He is set to return to the club circuit at the DAM Health Stadium this weekend.

Edinburgh fly-half Van Der Walt, who grew up watching his fellow South African star for the national team, is looking forward to sharing a pitch with him.

The 27-year-old said: “I was very young when he started playing. He’s a big legend in South African rugby. He’s been good for South African rugby so it will be good to play against him if he plays. It’s exciting.”

Van Der Walt, who joined Edinburgh from the Lions in 2017, is expecting another tough test against South African opposition this weekend after last weekend’s 20-20 draw at home to the Stormers. Bulls, meanwhile, picked up an impressive win away to Cardiff.


He said: “You can’t underestimate South African teams. They’re physical and they play good running rugby. All the South African teams definitely looked better last weekend. We can’t underestimate the Bulls. They’ll bring a different style of play to Stormers but they’re a physical team as well with a bunch of big boys.”

Van Der Walt set up both of Edinburgh’s tries as they roared into a 14-0 lead after just six minutes against the Stormers last weekend, but he admits they must find a way to maintain such standards for longer.

He said: “I loved that first 10 minutes. We just need an 80-minute performance like that now – that’s the challenge for this weekend.

“Every number 10 likes to play running rugby. It’s always nice to get a line-break or two, and if the team scores a try from it, it makes it so much sweeter.


“It was only my second game of the season. There’s still a long season ahead so I just want to try and keep that form and serve the team. It will be difficult to maintain that form but my confidence is high.”


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