Sanzaar blocks Kitshoff’s participation

Sanzaar has dismissed the Stormers' request to allow Steven Kitshoff to take part in the Super Rugby playoffs.

Kitshoff rejoined the Stormers from Bordeaux at the end of the European season, and has featured in their last two Super Rugby matches against the Cheetahs and Sunwolves. The 25-year-old will also play in Saturday's final round-robin match against the Bulls.

The Stormers' loosehead stocks are stretched at the moment, with both Oli Kebble and Ali Vermaak out through injury. This prompted the Stormers to lodge a request with Sanzaar, asking for leniency in allowing Kitshoff to play in the knockout stage of the competition.

However, one of Sanzaar's rules dictates that a player must be part of a team before 1 April in order to be available for selection in playoffs, thus making Kitshoff ineligible.

'There was a request from the Stormers on Monday, but he does not qualify to participate because he played in France,' Sanzaar spokesperson Greg Thomas said. 'In keeping with the tournament rules, the player was not available to play for his team by 1 April.'

Photo: Carl Fourie/Gallo Images

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Mariette Adams