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De Kock Steenkamp

De Kock Steenkamp

De Kock Steenkamp

The Ospreys confirmed that lock De Kock Steenkamp has been released from his contract and will return home to South Africa after undergoing surgery for an ongoing hip problem.

It brings to an end an injury ravaged 14-month spell with the team that has seen the lock restricted to just 2 competitive appearances at the start of this season.

The 28-year-old signed from the Cape Town based DHL Stormers in September 2014 to add his considerable experience and physical presence to a young squad, having earned a reputation as one of the leading line-out operators in Super Rugby.

However, an achilles injury sustained within days of his arrival at Llandarcy Academy of Sport meant that he missed last season in its entirety, returning to full training for this pre-season.

Having come through the summer months, Steenkamp then stepped up his involvement with an appearance in the pre-season win over Saracens before making his competitive debut, starting in the PRO12 opener away to Ulster. A 2nd appearance followed off the bench against Munster the following week but he then found himself sidelined once again, after reporting hip instability to the region’s medical team.

After further investigation, the player underwent surgery at the weekend and, having assessed all options both parties have agreed to the early release.

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OspreysNew Ospreys lock De Kock Steenkamp is keen to nail his colours to the mast and break into the Welsh national team.

The deal for the South African-born star was approved by Wales Rugby Union and covers the three years it would take for him to achieve qualification through residency.

And Steenkamp admits he would relish the chance to represent the Red Dragons once he has established himself in the Guinness PRO12.

“I’d be delighted,” he said.  “As far as I know, the only foreigners that can come to Wales must be eligible to play for Wales in three years’ time, so that’s why the contract is for three years.”

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De Kock Steenkamp

De Kock Steenkamp

Welsh club Ospreys have confirmed that they have signed Stormers lock De Kock Steenkamp on a three-year contract, despite the player having one more year on his contract in the Cape.

Steenkamp, 27, secured an early release from his Stormers contract and will join the PRO12 club after representing the Stormers on 49 occasions in Super Rugby and playing 59 games for the Western Province in the Currie Cup.

“Joining the Ospreys is a great opportunity for me and a challenge that I can’t wait to get stuck into,” said Steenkamp in a statement on Ospreys’ official website.

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StormersCoach Allister Coetzee has made four changes to his starting line-up for the DHL Stormers’ first match of their 2014 Vodacom Super Rugby tour.

The DHL Stormers will take on the Crusaders in Christchurch on Saturday (kick-off 08:35 SA Time, 19:35 NZ Time) without injured forwards, lock Rynhardt Elstadt and flanker Siya Kolisi, with the fit-again De Kock Steenkamp and Schalk Burger replacing them up front.

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This is the third in the series of Stormers Squad Contenders for Super Rugby 2014. We do 2 articles per week per South African Super Rugby participating franchise.

We discuss the players IN the Super Rugby Group, and not all the options beyond that.

In this Article we look at the contenders for LOCKS in the DHL Stormers 2014 Super Rugby group, and whether they could force their way into Bok contention.

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