Bulls loose forward signs deal with PRO14 side

Ruan Steenkamp (Gallo Images)
Ruan Steenkamp (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Edinburgh have secured the services of Bulls loose forward Ruan Steenkamp on a short-term deal, the club confirmed on Wednesday. 

The former South Africa U-20 captain, who made 10 appearances in this season’s Super Rugby competition, joins the club subject to a medical and will provide cover during the Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Steenkamp – who has played both flanker and No.8 for the Super Rugby side – was a key player as the Bulls this season reached the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since 2013.

"I’m really honoured to join Edinburgh Rugby and I can’t wait to link up with my new teammates," the 26-year-old said. 

"I know a lot about the club having spoken to the South African boys in Scotland and I’m hugely privileged to have been given the chance to represent such a historic side.

"This will be my first time travelling to Scotland, so I can’t wait to make the most of this opportunity while sampling a new and exciting rugby culture."

Edinburgh coach Richard Cockerill, added: "Ruan is a hard running and abrasive back-row player that plays with a real edge. He has all the qualities that you look for in a flanker while his physicality brings a different dynamic to our pack. We’re really happy to have him on board.

"We will obviously be short handed in the back-row in the early stages of the season due to World Cup selection, so to have a player of Ruan’s quality adding depth to the squad is a real coup for the club.

"He has shown in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup that he has the ability to turn a match in your favour – whether that is through his carrying or tenacity in defence - so we can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to this club."

Born in Krugersdorp, SA, Steenkamp came through the ranks at Johannesburg-based side Golden Lions where he represented them at the U-18 Craven Week in both 2010 and 2011.

After graduating from Monument High School, the back-row joined the Blue Bulls prior to the 2012 season where he captained their U-19 side in the Provincial Championship.

Steenkamp was named South African U-20 captain ahead of the 2013 World Rugby U20 Championship in France – a tournament in which the back-row led the Junior Boks to a third-place finish.

The back-row made his Currie Cup debut for the Blue Bulls in September 2015 as the then-22-year-old came off the bench in the 17-13 victory over the Sharks in Durban.

Steenkamp made his Bulls’ Super Rugby debut against the Stormers in February 2017 – a match in which he featured alongside current Edinburgh teammate, Pierre Schoeman – and would go on to make 21 appearances for the Pretoria-based club in two full seasons at Loftus Versfeld.

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