New Glasgow Warriors captain says aim is win URC as Franco Smith makes big call

New Glasgow Warriors captain Kyle Steyn says his goal is to win the United Rugby Championship.

Kyle Steyn has been appointed Glasgow Warriors club captain by new coach Franco Smith.  (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)
Kyle Steyn has been appointed Glasgow Warriors club captain by new coach Franco Smith. (Photo by Ross MacDonald / SNS Group)

Head coach Franco Smith has appointed the Scotland back as skipper in the first major statement of his regime. Steyn takes over from Fraser Brown and Ryan Wilson who have been co-captains for the past two seasons.

“It’s a massive honour for me, and something that I find incredibly humbling,” Steyn told glasgowwarriors.org.

“On the field, the goal is to win the URC. That might sound ridiculous to some, but that’s the kind of tone that we need. We know it’s not going to be an easy road to get there, but I truly believe that this group of players is capable of doing something special.”

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Glasgow finished eighth in the regular URC season in 2021-22 and were then thrashed 76-14 by Leinster in the play-off quarter-finals. However, they reached the Pro14 final as recently as 2019 when they were pipped 18-15 by the same opponents at Celtic Park.

Steyn, the 28-year-old centre/wing who played in the final, said his aim was to restore Glasgow’s reputation after the disappointing end to last season which saw Danny Wilson sacked and replaced by Smith.

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“First and foremost, we want to be a team that plays in a style that reflects the city that we represent,” said Steyn. “We want to be inspired by our city and to fight for everything like our city and the people that live here have done throughout history.

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“I love this club, so when Franco asked me to take on the role of captain I was both shocked and grateful. We’re going in an exciting direction as a group, and it’s a huge privilege for me and my family.”

Steyn said Brown and Wilson had been first to congratulate him on his appointment.

“Franco sat me down just before training and asked how my wedding went, first of all! He then explained his thinking, and then asked me if I’d like to be captain. Ryan and Fras both came up to me as soon as they’d heard and said congratulations, and said we’d grab a beer later on. They’ve been great as captains and I can’t thank them enough.

“Being involved off the pitch with the cultural side of things as much as I can be really helps me understand the gravity of this club and what it means to everyone associated with it. I’m excited to take that mantle on.”

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Smith, who left his role as head of high performance with the Italian Rugby Federation to become head coach at Glasgow, said Steyn was part of a “new generation” who he believes can propel the club to greater things.

“Kyle represents everything that Glasgow Warriors stands for,” said the coach. “On and off the field, he understands and embodies our club’s values. He leads by example, and he’s part of a new generation of Warriors that can take this club forward.

“As well as that, though, he's just an absolutely stand-up guy. The way he goes about his business is that of a model professional, and the full squad respects him to a man.”

Steyn, in his fifth season with Glasgow, will captain the club for the first time in the pre-season game against Worcester Warriors in Inverness on Friday.

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