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VIDEO: Kyle Steyn's road to the Final

VIDEO: Kyle Steyn had to move halfway across the world to pursue his rugby dream and on Saturday it all came full circle as he lifted the United Rugby Championship trophy with his Glasgow teammates at Loftus Versfeld.

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This is the story of a player from South Africa with a Scottish mum and Scottish grandparents who grew up watching his father Rory work alongside one of the most significant and influential figures of the 20th century, Nelson Mandela.

Steyn’s rugby career is unique having grown up in Roodepoort on the West Rand in Johannesburg with his Scottish mother and South African cop father assigned to protect Mandela amid some of the most volatile times in the country’s history.

The 30-year-old Warriors captain formerly played for Maties and then Griquas in the Currie Cup.

It was during a match in Bloemfontein against the Cheetahs when former Glasgow coach Gregor Townsend, now coach of Scotland, stumbled across Steyn in an almost comical fashion.

Townsend was in Bloemfontein to watch Glasgow play against the Cheetahs and got chatting with someone who turned out to be a friend of Rory’s, who said a handy young player was captaining the Griquas Currie Cup team and did Townsend know the back happened to be Scottish-qualified?

The rest as they say is history with Steyn having made a name for himself in the Scotland 7’s side.

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In February 2019, Glasgow announced the signing of Steyn on a one-year deal ahead of the 2019/20 season.

Steyn went on to make his Scotland debut against France in 2020, coming off the bench to help secure a 28-17 victory.

He followed that up with a remarkable four tries against Tonga on his first start during the 2021 Nations Series.

Steyn started all five of Scotland’s 2023 Six Nations matches, scoring a brace against Wales. He followed that up with another double away in France and one against Georgia before scoring against Tonga again, this time in the 2023 World Cup.

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On Saturday an elated Steyn reflected on his journey at the same stadium his side secured victory in the Final against the Bulls.

“Having played the Supersport Challenge and Varsity Cup here at Loftus and coming back with Glasgow, life has a funny way of going in circles and making you reflect,” Steyn said.

“And when I reflect on the incredible support I had from family, friends, and coaches throughout my career has been incredible.

“And moving halfway across the world, I just can’t thank the players and people in Glasgow for making us feel part of the family.

“I think that’s what drives you when you go out on a pitch on a game like tonight [Saturday].

“Just incredibly grateful for the opportunity.”

 

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