South Africa prop Steven Kitshoff set to leave Ulster after just one season

The two-time World Cup winner with the Springboks initially signed a three-year deal with the province

Kitshoff set to leave Steven Kitshoff initially signed at three-year deal with the province. PICTURE: Brian Little

STEVEN Kitshoff is set to leave Ulster just one season into his three-season deal after a mutual decision has been reached to terminate his contract, per multiple reports.

The South African prop joined Ulster after he won his second World Cup with the Springboks in France last October.

A report by Afrikaans media outlet Rapport says that Kitshoff’s former team, the DHL Stormers, are in exploratory talks with Ulster which could result in the two-time World Cup winner swapping Belfast for Cape Town with two years remaining on his Ravenhill deal.

It has been reported that the current situation at Ulster following Dan McFarland and John Petrie’s departure has presented an opportunity for Kitshoff to wrap up his deal early.

The member of South Africa’s ‘bomb squad’ front row, Kitshoff has played 12 games so far for Ulster, performing well, with his latest game coming against the Stormers in Cape Town.

Kitshoff’s form at the province has earned him the number one spot on the URC’s top 100 player rankings list, with a carrying score of 87 and a defending score of 97.3.

Kitshoff has played every game of South Africa’s 14 World Cup matches in their successful 2019 and 2023 campaigns, developing from a powerhouse replacement to their starting loosehead prop.

Also believed to be in the mix to bring the 32-year-old back to the Stormers after just a year away is an equity deal with a consortium which has brought a massive cash injection to Western Province Professional rugby.

Red Disa’s equity deal, securing a controlling shareholding in WP Professional Rugby Pty Ltd, was approved by the South African Competition Commission in December.

Ulster Rugby have been contacted for comment.