The Johannesburg-born 25-year-old has signed a one-year deal with the Warriors for next season, but is poised to become an integral part of the squad from this weekend when the team travel to Cardiff on Pro14 duty. The early opportunity has come in part because of the shoulder injury that has ended DTH van der Merwe’s season, but Steyn, who has played more rugby at centre rather than his current position of wing, is more than ready to begin the next phase of his career.
He was playing 15s until as recently as last October, when he captained the Griquas in the Currie Cup, and so should need minimal time to get up to speed.
“I’m raring to go,” Steyn said this week. “I’m really excited for the opportunity that’s been given to me, and I can’t wait to get out there and carry on the legacy that’s been there before me. When it’s a club with a history as rich as this and with the position they’re in at the moment it’s a huge honour to sign for them, so I didn’t have to think twice [about signing].”
The surname is an indication of his South African background, but Steyn is Scottish-qualified. In fact, the relevant branch of his family lived within easy reach of Scotstoun – albeit long before the Warriors adopted the stadium as their home ground.
“My dad was born in South Africa,” he explained. “That’s where the surname Steyn comes from – it doesn’t sound very Scottish. My middle name’s Douglas after my grandad, who was born here, and my mum was born here as well.
“My grandad was an engineer and they moved over to South Africa and I was born there. He was from Bearsden, a local boy in Glasgow. My gran was born in Perth and then they met here in Glasgow, had my mum and her older sister, then moved to South Africa and her two younger sisters were born there. South Africa had a real shortage of engineers at the time, so he found a good opportunity and I think he wanted some sun.”
Warriors assistant coach Kenny Murray has welcomed Steyn’s early arrival. “Kyle will be involved with us this weekend in the squad,” he said. “He’s been playing a bit of sevens and has been training with us during that time as well. He’s a good player and we’re excited to get him involved this week.
“Kyle was coming over to play sevens, but we were always looking to get him involved as quickly as possible. The way injuries have gone, it’s great for him that he can get in a bit earlier than we anticipated.
“Hopefully he’ll be involved with us for the rest of the season. He’s a good player, can play at 13 or on the wing, so I’m excited to watch him play.”