Bulls v Glasgow: Kyle Steyn likely to miss remainder of season

Sam Johnson touch and go for Friday's crucial United Rugby Championship match

Kyle Steyn is unlikely to play for Glasgow Warriors again this season. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk
Kyle Steyn is unlikely to play for Glasgow Warriors again this season. Image: © Craig Watson - www.craigwatson.co.uk

GLASGOW WARRIORS head coach Danny Wilson has confirmed that his international winger/centre Kyle Steyn is likely to miss the remainder of this season though an injury picked up during Friday’s loss to the Stormers in Cape Town, while fellow Scotland cap Sam Johnson, an inside-centre, is touch and go for Saturday’s United Rugby Championship clash against the Bulls in Pretoria.

“Kyle has an Achilles injury but it’s not quite as black and white as that,” explained Wilson. “It’s the ligaments in that area and we are trying to nail down what it means.

“He’s had a scan and he’s got an appointment to see a specialist. It’s definitely a medium-termer but whether we see Kyle again this season, we’ll have to wait and see, but at the moment it’s doubtful.

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“It’s unlucky for Kyle who has been in really good form and was really looking forward to playing back in South Africa but only lasted around 10 minutes [against the Stormers]. So, we’re disappointed for him and obviously for us because he’s been quality and was man of the match against Newcastle recently.

“Sammy Johnson picked up an ankle niggle and we’re still trying to see what that means for him for this weekend,” Wilson added. “When you add to that Matt Fagerson, Scott Cummings, Rufus McLean, George Horne – these are big international players who you really want to have going into the business end of the season.”

Ratu Tagive flew out to South Africa on Saturday to add depth to Warriors’ wing options. He was initially left at home to get game time with Stirling County in Super6 having nor played since fracturing his cheekbone during pre-season, but could now feature from the bench for Warriors against the Bulls.

“He’s been able to play a few games now, and when you think we have lost Rufus, Seb [Cancelliere] and Kyle in a very short space of time, we needed to bring Ratu out here and get him up to speed as quickly as possible,” explained Wilson.

“Ratu is a good rugby player and we need to get him up to speed with our stuff as soon as possible because if he doesn’t play here then we are jumping on a flight almost as soon as we get back to go and play Lyon in Europe.”


Their defeat against the Stormers meant that Glasgow dropped to sixth in the table, with two games of the regular season left to play. They are only one point off the top four, which is where they need to finish to secure a home draw in the play-offs, but the prospect of dropping out of the top eight and therefore missing out altogether on the play-offs has also become a more pressing concern.

Warriors’ remaining matches are both away from home, against eighth-placed Bulls this Friday and currently seventh-placed Edinburgh on 21st May. Meanwhile, ninth placed Scarlets are just seven points behind Glasgow with two winnable games left to play in the regular season.

All of which means that while Friday’s match is not quite must-win, if Warriors don’t get anything from the game and Scarlets come out on top in their Welsh derby against the Ospreys then the pressure will really start to build.

“We’ve been in the top four for the majority of the season and now we’ve come to this really tight business end where we can quite easily jump or fall three or four places,” said Wilson.

“The league can change very quickly over a few games and for us, with a series of away games, it’s a big challenge.

“We knew coming to South Africa for these two weeks that we’d have to get points,” added Wilson, who was speaking via conference call from the team’s base at Stellenbosch University. “It’s a very, very tough place – not many teams will come here and take points, especially against the Bulls and the Stormers.

“In the past we came here and played the Southern Kings and the Cheetahs and no disrespect to them because they were good sides, but maybe not with the firepower that these guys have got.

“It’s great for the competition and it’s great to raise our standards. Hopefully, we can make some improvements going into game two.”

The Bulls beat Benetton 46-29 last weekend’s but Wilson reckons that the final score-line did not truly reflect how tight the game had been during the first hour, and added that the way the game went gives him belief that Warriors can bounce back on Friday.

“On 50 minutes the score was 22-19 with the Bulls just getting back into the lead, so Treviso started very, very well and physically they fronted up, which is what you have to do against that opposition at that venue,” he said.

“It does give encouragement, but it was a bit like our game where it was 13-7 on the 50 minutes mark and by the end of the game it was 32-7, so that’s where we’ve got to be better. In South Africa, we need to be able to go toe-to-toe with those guys for more than 50 minutes, we need to go 80 minutes and turn them over.

“I genuinely believe we can beat the Bulls, if we can show some of the form we have shown recently, but maybe not what we showed at the weekend past.”


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About David Barnes 3817 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including he Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.


  1. Its certainly an exciting finish to the URC in its first season with only a few points separating teams 2-8 in the rankings. If Edinburgh and Glasgow both lose this week which is quite possible and Scarlets do win their remaining 2 games then Edinburgh and Glasgow will be playing for 8th place when they play each other in 2 weeks. Never mind a home semi-final, they have both been overtaken by the late surge from the SA teams and i cant see Glasgow getting anywhere near the Bulls even if they had Steyn.

    On a wider point – the depth in the Glasgow backs seems a lot less than I remember perhaps except for Scrum half. They used to have a huge number of centres but after Johnson and Topiolotu theres not much behind them – Stafford McDowell and Robbie Frgusson next up. I thought Stafford looked good when he first showed up but hasn’t had a lot of game time recently. And why did we sign Miotti who I thought was a proven international and a big name signing – he hardly ever gets a game – has he been injured or just not what we thought we were buying.

  2. Also will be even tougher next season with both the Irish provinces recent recruitment and the SA teams getting stronger and stronger. On a sidenote watched Maitland playing for Sarries at the weekend – he looked really sharp can’t understand why he is surplus to requirements for Scotland…Matt Scott also playing really well for Leicester and Huw Jones a revelation at full back for Quins…

    • I watched the Exeter/Sarries match and could not help thinking there were 4ex Glasgow players on display and playing well. Why do we seem unable to produce anyone like that at the moment , Darge is possibly the only one who looks the part. I think we will struggle against the Bulls and that leaves just the Edinburgh match to end the season. I just don’t think we are good enough to cause the top teams a problem at the moment.

  3. Can’t see either Scottish team with a home semi-final – probably Edinburgh 6th and Glasgow 8th – unless scarlets tear it up in their last 2 games and push Glasgow to 9th. Glasgow just can’t complete a full 90 minutes – edinburgh playing very badly can grind out a result and sometimes look very special.

  4. Sorry to be that guy but you refer to the scarlets playing the scarlets in the Welsh derby…

    Glasgow have it all to do, they must start putting in 80 minute performances and stop the 2nd half meltdowns.

    • Looks like at best place 8th finish (and a usual meeting with Leinster looming) with 9th a real possibility…. Injuries not helping at the business end of the season, but then again the problems that persist have been there all season and not resolved by coaching team. Playoff should have been secured before now. Not good enough
      Mr Wilson….


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