After two years, 57 appearances from a possible 87, with more than 3 708 minutes played in blue – Walt Steenkamp bids a fond farewell to the Vodacom Bulls family.
The towering 27-year-old lock forward leaves the Vodacom Bulls with a host of memories from his time in Pretoria. Having established himself as one of the best exports in the 4 and 5 lock combination. Since his arrival, Steenkamp has rubberstamped his authority in the second row, proving solid in defensive play and set-pieces. The Rustenburg native has made a whopping 339 tackles whilst taking 121 lineouts, with 165 ball carries.
Speaking after his final run (for now) in front of the Loftus faithful, Steenkamp said: “My time at Loftus has been nothing short of amazing, working with an incredible coaching team, thank you to coach Jake for all that he has done for me and my career. I have also been very fortunate to call an incredible group of players my colleagues,”
“Luckily I got to say my goodbyes on home ground because my last game should have been against Benetton but when that was extended to the end of the first part of the United Rugby Championship, it meant I could have a farewell in front of our Bulls family. The fact that we went on to win against the Cell C Sharks was the cherry on top,”
“I may be going away but I will be following closely as the team progresses in the competition, I will be supporting them from the other side and I do have a belief that they have what it takes to win not only the Vodacom United Rugby Championship but all the other competitions as well because this is a special group of players, with immense talent. Go Bulls!”
At the time of signing for the Vodacom Bulls, Steenkamp said he relished the opportunity to be mentored by Jake White, hoping to grow from strength to strength under his leadership. The growth that Vodacom Bulls mentor, White, would have preferred to see Walt continue to apply in Pretoria.
“I have tried very hard to talk him out of it, getting his friends involved too. The reality is, we cannot hold onto everybody but the nice thing is, they can always come back because no one is leaving on bad terms. Walt is not old that we may never see him again, so when his contract ends (in Japan) who knows, he might be a better player and we will be happy to welcome him back,”
“I wish him well, I have been and coached in Japan and I know he will have a great time there because he has all the right qualities that any coach would appreciate having on their team” concludes Jake White.