Edinburgh Rugby have today secured the signing of South African back-row Ruan Steenkamp on a short-term deal from Super Rugby side Vodacom Bulls.
The former South Africa U20 captain, 26 – who made 10 appearances in this season’s Super Rugby competition – joins the club subject to a medical and will provide cover during the Rugby World Cup in Japan.
Steenkamp – who has played both flanker and No.8 for the Super Rugby side – was a key player as the Bulls this season reached the knockout stages of the competition for the first time since 2013.
On joining the club, Steenkamp, said: “I’m really honoured to join Edinburgh Rugby and I can’t wait to link up with my new teammates.
“I know a lot about the club having spoken to the South African boys in Scotland and I’m hugely privileged to have been given the chance to represent such a historic side.
“This will be my first time travelling to Scotland, so I can’t wait to make the most of this opportunity while sampling a new and exciting rugby culture.”
Head Coach Richard Cockerill, added: “Ruan is a hard running and abrasive back-row player that plays with a real edge. He has all the qualities that you look for in a flanker while his physicality brings a different dynamic to our pack. We’re really happy to have him on board.
“We will obviously be short handed in the back-row in the early stages of the season due to World Cup selection, so to have a player of Ruan’s quality adding depth to the squad is a real coup for the club.
“He has shown in both Super Rugby and the Currie Cup that he has the ability to turn a match in your favour – whether that is through his carrying or tenacity in defence – so we can’t wait to see what he’ll bring to this club.”
Born in Krugersdorp, SA, Steenkamp came through the ranks at Johannesburg-based side Golden Lions where he represented them at the U18 Craven Week– the premier high school rugby union competition in South Africa – in both 2010 and 2011.
After graduating from Monument High School, the back-row joined the Blue Bulls prior to the 2012 season where he captained their U19 side in the Provincial Championship.
Steenkamp was named South African U20 captain ahead of the 2013 World Rugby U20 Championship in France – a tournament in which the back-row led the Junior Boks to a third-place finish.
The back-row made his Currie Cup debut for the Blue Bulls in September 2015 as the then-22-year-old came off the bench in the 17-13 victory over the Sharks in Durban.
Steenkamp made his Bulls’ Super Rugby debut against the Stormers in February 2017 – a match in which he featured alongside current Edinburgh teammate, Pierre Schoeman – and would go on to make 21 appearances for the Pretoria-based club in two full seasons at Loftus Versfeld.