Kitshoff set for early Stormers return?

The former Stormers captain left after the 2023 Rugby World Cup to join Ulster on a three year contract.


The Stormers are reportedly in talks to bring back former captain Steven Kitshoff from Irish side Ulster next season.

Kitshoff faced the Stormers for the first time on Saturday when he started for Ulster in the URC match at Cape Town Stadium. The one-club Springbok loosehead prop decided to leave the Stormers after the 2023 World Cup, agreeing to a three-year contract with Ulster.

However, according to Sunday newspaper Rapport, the backroom drama at Ulster, combined with the Red Disa investment into Western Province Rugby, could pave the way for Kitshoff’s return.

Ulster sacked head coach Dan McFarland midway through the season, while chief executive officer Jonny Petrie resigned last week.

It is reportedly customary for high-profile players like Kitshoff to have clauses in their contracts that allow them to leave if the head coach departs.

John Dobson – appointed as director of rugby this week after Red Disa’s takeover of the Stormers was approved – was also seen with Kitshoff at a restaurant in Cape Town, where they reportedly discussed the potential of his return.

The Stormers have endured an injury crisis at loosehead prop this season, with all of Lizo Gqoboka, Sti Sithole, Ali Vermaak and Kwenzo Blose missing the game against Ulster, which forced veteran prop Brok Harris into service for 60 minutes for the second game in a row, while Leon Lyons also had to be recalled from a stint with Griquas.

This story was first published on sarugbymag.co.za. It is republished here with permission.

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