Stormers captain Steven Kitshoff. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)
- Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff said the Springbok management is looking after the finer details of how Wales will play later this season.
- The SA sides have had a fair bit of success against the Welsh sides in the United Rugby Championship.
- The Stormers will be hosting the Ospreys in Cape Town while the Sharks will play the Dragons in Durban, with the Boks hosting Wales in June.
Powerhouse Stormers prop Steven Kitshoff said they’re taking small lessons for international games from the United Rugby Championship (URC) even though the focus is on the franchises.
The Springboks will play Wales during the June break, which makes matches against the Dragons, Scarlets, the Ospreys and the Cardiff Blues significant.
The Blues have won only one of their four games against SA sides, while the Ospreys, who will be playing the Stormers in Cape Town on Saturday, haven’t beaten SA opposition.
The same is applicable for the Dragons and the Scarlets, even though they still have home games against SA opposition later in the tournament.
Kitshoff, SA’s prime loosehead, said there are similarities in how the Welsh franchises and the Welsh national team play, but it’s the Bok management group who are looking after those matters.
“I can imagine that the Springbok coaches have a good hard look at them, but we’re focussing on the URC and playing for the Stormers,” Kitshoff said.
“Wales’s DNA is similar to how their teams play from a franchise perspective, so you get a fair idea from that.
“There’s a similar way of playing, kicking and structures from other perspectives. The Ospreys may not be a well-known name in SA, but Wales is.
“The similarities in the playing styles do come up, but the URC is a great competition to prepare for future Bok games.”
After receiving a proper working over from Ulster despite their 23-20 win, Kitshoff said they’ve looked hard at their shortcomings.
They aim to fix them ahead of Saturday’s game where they’ll look to keep their unbeaten home streak against European opposition intact.
“We had a normal week and had a lot more done while sorting out our scrum. We had a hard look at our scrum and the way we mauled,” Kitshoff said.
“They are key areas that we need to improve in and there’s the execution that we spoke about where we want to play in the right areas.
“It’s a case of playing the kind of rugby we want, even if the weather doesn’t play along. We need to play in the right areas and back our structures.
Saturday’s match gets underway at 18:15.