Steven Kitshoff will go level with his front-row partner Frans Malherbe as the most-capped players in DHL Stormers’ history when he runs out to face Clermont in their Champions Cup clash on Saturday.
With Malherbe left back in Cape Town to rest an extra week following a tough Autumn international schedule with the Springboks, Kitshoff is set to join his long-time teammate at the top of the list as he earns his 124th Stormers cap at the Stade Marcel Michelin this weekend.
Kitshoff made his Stormers debut when he was still a teenager in 2011 and has since established himself as an all-time great for the team, putting in consistently dominant performances over the years.
He took over the captaincy in early 2021 and he went on to lift the Vodacom United Rugby Championship trophy as the Stormers took the inaugural title in front of their home fans at Cape Town Stadium earlier this year.
Kitshoff says that it is quite hard to believe how far he has come in a Stormers jersey.
“For me it is a massive honour just to be able to represent the Stormers over 120 times over my career. This team has meant so much to me and being able to play as many games as I have for the Stormers is just incredible,” he said.
Looking back on his career with the team he grew up supporting, Kitshoff admits that he never even dared to dream of getting this far when it all began over a decade ago.
“When I made my debut back in 2011, to be honest I never really thought I would get this far. Through a lot of hard work and coaches that have backed me over the years, it has been a massive journey and I am just happy to still be able to play rugby, do my job and represent the Stormers as passionately and as well as I can,” he said.
Looking ahead to the challenge that awaits this weekend, the Stormers captain said that the team want to show that they belong in the Champions Cup.
“We are really looking forward to playing in the Heineken Champions Cup this weekend. As a team it was one of our big goals, to play in this tournament.
“We had a big season in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship last season and for me to reach this milestone in what will hopefully be a statement game will be massive,” he added.
— SA Rugby magazine (@SARugbymag) December 8, 2022
Photo: ©Shaun Roy/BackpagePix