WATCH: Stormers’ Steven Kitshoff bracing for ‘Afrikaans farmer boy’ challenge against Harlequins

Steven Kitshoff is readying himself for the challenge Harlequins will bring. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Steven Kitshoff is readying himself for the challenge Harlequins will bring. Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Mar 30, 2023

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Cape Town - The Stormers will approach every game over the next couple of months as a do-or-die one in their bid to progress further in the European Champions Cup and United Rugby Championship (URC).

On Saturday, they face Harlequins (4pm kick-off) in their first knockout match of the Champions Cup, looking to book their place in the quarter-final of the European club championship.

After starting the Champions Cup with a loss away to Clermont, the Stormers won their next three games on the trot to book a home play-off.

If other results go their way, and they beat Harlequins on Saturday, the Cape side can possibly host a Champions Cup quarter-final in the DHL Stadium. But for now, their only focus is on the Harlequins match.

"The mental approach, for every game over the next couple of months, is do-or-die. You are fighting for your life," Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff said.

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"For us as a union, we want to be at that top table. We want to find ourselves in the top eight of European rugby and hopefully take it further, as far as we can.

"We want to do the same in the URC as well. Every weekend (from now) will be massive. Even when we return to URC pool games, we need to win those to secure the second spot on the log for that home quarter-final and a possible (home) semi-final."

On Saturday, Kitshoff will go head-to-head with one of South Africa's largest exports to the English Premiership in fellow Springbok and former Stormers teammate Wilco Louw.

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Louw, a tighthead, left the Stormers a couple of seasons ago to pursue a career with Harlequins where he has been one of the outstanding scrummagers. He's also known for his big ball carries around the park.

Kitshoff is looking forward to the test against Louw and England international Joe Marler on the other side of the scrum.

"He's been exceptional at Harlequins. I've been watching some of his rugby," Kitshoff said about Louw.

"I still follow him all over social media. It looks like he's enjoying it, but I don't know how his Afrikaans is holding up. He's a very Afrikaans farmer boy.

"But it's going to be a big challenge against him and Joe Marler on the other side."

@LeightonK