Ageing Springboks star Steven Kitshoff motivated to win ‘another World Cup’

Dylan Coetzee
Springboks front-row Steven Kitshoff.

Springboks front-row Steven Kitshoff.

Springboks front-row Steven Kitshoff is eyeing a shot at winning an unprecedented third Rugby World Cup at the 2027 tournament in Australia.

Kitshoff has played a big part in the last two World Cup triumphs with a ‘Bomb Squad’ role in 2019 before he had more of a starting role in last year’s edition.

Another one

The star front-row affectionately nicknamed ‘Spicy Plum’ will be 35 years old by the time the 2027 tournament rolls around, however, he is highly motivated to be a part of Rassie Erasmus’ quest for the hallowed three-peat.

“That’s what motivates me to get up every morning and keep working,” Kitshoff told Netwerk24.

“It’s always in the back of my head, to be fit and strong enough to make another World Cup. I want to accomplish this and leave a good legacy at the Stormers.”

Returning home

Kitshoff signed for Ulster after the recent World Cup on what was expected to be a three-year deal. However, between a change of coaching staff at Ulster and an injection of funds from the Stormers’ new owners he has agreed to an early release to return to Cape Town next season.

The Springbok’s return has been welcomed by the Stormers as Kitshoff was a massive part of the project under head coach John Dobson that included the front-row hoisting the trophy in United Rugby Championship I.

“What Dobbo and the coaching staff have managed is to work out a plan to win big games with the team’s DNA in mind. The coaching staff is doing an incredibly good job,” said the prop.

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Springbok captaincy

Kitshoff’s return could throw him into the mix to be the next Springboks captain, with Erasmus yet to confirm whether Siya Kolisi will remain as the leader of the side.

The head coach declared his preference to have the South African captain locally-based as it allows easier communication. There is still a chance the inspirational Kolisi could remain captain if Racing 92 is willing to release him for all the camps and Tests.

At this stage, the leading local candidates are Sharks trio Bongi Mbonambi, Eben Etzebeth and Lukhanyo Am but Kitshoff could well be in the conversation when he returns next year.

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