South Africa

‘We were house hunting during the world cup,’ – Bok player Steven Kitsoff as he settles in Ireland

“So during the World Cup we were sending messages back and forth with our agent, one of the real estate agents living this side just to find a house and make sure the house is secured by the time we arrive,” said Springbok prop Steven Kitshoff.

The World Cup winning prop and his wife, Aimee, relocated to Ireland where Kitsoff will be playing for the Irish rugby side, Ulster. Speaking to the club’s media, Kitsoff said they’ve settled well in their first few days in their new environment.

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“It’s been brilliant, the first couple of days have just been absolutely amazing,” said Kitsoff.  “For me it’s amazing to step into an environment like this and just try and make it a bit better and give my bit of input that I can for the next couple of years.”

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Happy wife, happy life

Kitsoff lived in Cape Town while plying his trade with the Stormers and Western Province rugby. While he has traded it for a life in Belfast, the rugby player says his wife is seems more happy about the move.

“My wife was super excited when I signed [joined Ulster]. She’s closer to Europe – Italy and to France so [we can] go on holidays [there],” said the prop, who is more excited about his proximity to his favourite drink, Guinness beer.

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“I love a pint of Guinness, first of all. For me to just meet new people, [have] new experiences, living up north in the Northern Hemisphere is going to be fun. For me, it’s [about] getting a new adventure… Cape Town will always be there but for me its to just explore, widen my horizon and just living in the moment.”

The recently retired Springbok eighth man Duane Vermeulen used to play for Irish rugby club and Kitsoff said Vermeulen shared some advice to help him settle in the new environment.

“Duane spoke so highly about Belfast and the club. He did exceptionally well here and the guys as well also speak highly of him. I’m just happy he left a lasting memory and a lasting legacy,” he said.

“He gave me a lot of tips of where to stay, where to eat, he was a good guy in a way that he spoke about Ulster and the team,” the prop, who is affectionately known to rugby fans as the Spicy Plum, said.

Kitsoff was given the nickname by late rugby player and SuperSport presenter Kaunda Ntunja a few years ago.

“I think we were playing a test at Newlands against the All Blacks and in the game he called me Spicy Plum and it stuck throughout South Africa and it became a bit of a thing. I don’t mind it, it’s a nice name.”

Kitsoff is set to make his debut this weekend for the Irish club after being named on the bench for their clash against Glasgow Warriors in the United Rugby Championship (URC).

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