Ier now complains about Kitshoff’s scrum


Steven Kitshoff is a two-time World Cup winner, while he also pushed the Stormers to silverware heights.

But Stephen Ferris believes that the South African prop was weighed and found too light during his time at Ulster.

The Stormers indicated last week that Kitshoff will play at the DHL Stadium again from next season after saying goodbye to Belfast a season or two earlier.

“It’s strange because everyone was initially so excited when Ulster got this World Cup winning prop’s signature and he would have contributed a lot to the team’s success. However, I think it is rather Steven Kitshoff who was dominated in the scrum and not the other way around,” said Ferris.

According to the former Ireland loose forward, Ulster’s floundering in the scrum is not only Kitshoff’s fault.

“Front row men like Rob Herring and Tom Stewart were also under immense pressure, but his (Kitshoff’s) shortcomings were also pointed out.”

The 32-year-old prop admitted precisely in the run-up to his Ulster career that the team’s initial struggles were a wake-up call for him.

“As a player you have to be prepared to work hard; especially when things don’t turn out right. I haven’t played like I know I can. Still, I’ve said it before: Rugby is a strange game – after seven days you get another opportunity to play and hopefully I fire on all pistons,” Kitshoff said at the time.

Former Ulster coach Dan McFarland was full of praise for his South African import.

“I think his general game – and not just his scrum – is one of his biggest strengths. He carries the ball excellently, he defends well and he is always a danger on the field,” said McFarland.

Ulster is currently struggling with financial problems and in 2023 the club suffered a loss of £900,000.

Meanwhile, John Dobson is smiling broadly about Kitshoff’s return.

“Steven is one of the Stormers’ biggest players yet and he contributes a lot to the team’s success – on and off the field. We have always wanted him back in Cape Town and I am very grateful that it has become a reality so soon,” said the Stormers coach.