Steyn contemplating Bok future

June 10, 2014
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Frans Steyn 

Frans Steyn was released from the Springbok squad at his own request on Tuesday and will not appear in Saturday’s match against Wales at Kings Park in Durban.

The player advised SARU officials that that he did not wish to be considered for the Incoming series. 

“The environment in the Springbok squad is fantastic and I would like to state categorically that my relationship withHeyneke Meyer, the rest of the management and my team-mates is very good,” said Steyn. 

Steyn – who is expected to take up a contract in Japan at the end of the Super Rugby season – said that he wished for time to reflect on his Springbok future. 

He indicated he would be available for the Cell C Sharks once the June internationals are completed.

“I have spoken at length to Frans and we are happy to accede to his request,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU.

“He has asked for some time to consider his international playing future and we must respect that. 

“Let me make it clear that he has not retired from international rugby, but he has requested a break from it.”

Roux added that Steyn had asked for privacy at this time.

“This is not an ideal situation, but, in other instances, sudden player absences through injury are not uncommon and I’m sure Heyneke and the selectors will adapt to his unavailability. 

Frans is now out of the squad and team management will respect his wish for privacy by not speculating on his decision or his likely return.”

Source: Sport24

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41 Comments

  1. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Well we have 10′s in Goosen, Pollard, Boshoff and Morne, centre we have Jean, de Jongh, JJ, De Allende, Serfonteim, Small Smith and many more….

    So Goodbye if you want to go …..

  2. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny): Sorry and Lambie, almost forgot about Bambie

  3. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 6:24 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    Actually no we do not have JDV, JDJ, De Allende they are injured and JJ/Small Smith are 13′s and Serfontein is a bit too one dimensional…

    Weird this… must be more to it… or he’s simply sick playing for South African fickle fans…

  4. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 6:28 pm

    Going to have to be Serfontein/JJ in midfield this weekend then…

  5. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 7:05 pm

    @bryce_in_oz: Ye Bryce right now we don’t but for Championship and next year we have enough exciting youngsters I think…

  6. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 7:39 pm

    too much rugby?

    if it is, then take sabaticals from the super rugby season like Dan Carter and McCaw did in order to be fresh and rested for bok duty.

    He does have a bok contract, he is safe.

  7. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 7:54 pm

    @Welshbok die Brandwag: No he will go and play in Japan from September to February, then Supershit the WC, he will be up by the time WC starts with no rest…..

    See him break down as money rules…..

  8. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 8:38 pm

    @Jacques(Bunny):

    That is if it is money driven. What never fails to amaze me is how stupid these guys are in a professional era or industry.

    Basic business sense forces you to manage your resources/assets (with limited lifespan) meticulously for maximum yield of a resource.

    The rugby players body is his asset, and for them to get maximum amount of gametime out of a limited career span, they have to manage their bodies extremely carefully to get, like Matfield, McCaw etc the amount of top notch mileage out of that body.

    Perhaps that is exactly what Steyn is doing, he is keeping his asset fit for the bigger pay-out being club rugby with Sharks and Japan.

    Problem of course is that National name pushes up your market value

  9. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 8:47 pm

    @Welshbok die Brandwag: Yip, i just failed to understand his reasoning in this, unless their is some more on this which we do not know….

    He is a good player but throughout this year i thought he was managed poorly by Sharks….

    Sad to see some of our players being played to the ground….

    With a few exiting youngsters in the cue he can find it difficult to get back in the team….

  10. avatar DavidS says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:02 pm

    We have talent to replace him?

    Seriously?

    Noo seriously?

    Unbelievable the fantasies some people have…

    The only player who maybe maybe maybe could replace him would be Robert Ebersohn from the Force… but does Heyneke have the guts to drop Serfontein…

    Otherwise I’d do the olde Heyneke play

    10. Goosen

    12. Morne Steyn

  11. avatar Sasori says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:08 pm

    Sad to see this. He has taken a lot of unwarranted flak from the south african public :/

    There arent many players his size with the sheer talent that he brings to a team.

    Lets not speculate too much, and hope he comes back to the Bok fold next year :)

  12. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    @DavidS: No we do not have another Steyn, but we have youngsters that can develop in the next year….

    Like i said i do not see him being fit and rested for the WC if he goes on the route he is going on now…

    Japan rugby will not be that demanding at least but Nokes said before more than 30 games a year is too much for a professional player….

    How many will Frans play from Sept to Feb for Japan and then 15 or more Supershit games and Championship games and then WC…..No player will last in that.

    I heard Rory said last week that he played 32 games this season excluding the World XV game. That is too much if you think he did not play test rugby

  13. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:12 pm

    @Sasori: He will be back he said that and have a Bok contract the question is in what state?

  14. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    @DavidS:

    I don’t think there is a center in the world who has what this man has.

    His defense is good
    His vision is good
    his distribution is good
    His canon (boot) is good

    All these attributes have made him a 10/12/15 of distinction.

    Steyn is an exceptional talent, and won’t be easily replaced in SA or anywhere in the world for that matter.

  15. avatar Morné says:
    June 10th, 2014 at 9:15 pm

    Okay koebaai dan.

  16. avatar Timeo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 1:22 am

    Good player, but if his head is not in the right place, then HM should plan the next few years without him in the team.

  17. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 2:37 am

    Ag no man sad to see him go.

    Like the monkeys fickle fans comment….no player is bigger than the game itself and we know Franny and some of his tanties….this is the professional era and players play for money.
    The romantic days of playing for guts and glory is gone, its money now this is the professional way. You see players as junior sing the national anthem with tears in their eyes then as a professional playing against your very home country singing another anthem.

    Professional rugby time to drop the romantics even with loyal team support is also a lost romantic notion.

    Yes we do have talent its just whether our stupid conservative system will allow a coach to take chances and not judge him on his win percentages.

    If you want your cake and eat it fat booi eat as much as you can while you still can. Its all about money.

    Time to give the hungry youngsters a chance

  18. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 3:42 am

    I very much doubt it is (solely)money related as the kid would have made mint being one of the highest paid players during his years in France, on top of what his Sharks/Bok contracts of late would have earned him.

    I’d personally have given the South African Rugby the middle-finger a very long time ago after the amount of abuse/vitriol this guy has endured since he was 19… and is still enduring on return almost a decade later. Pick a year, google his name and read any comments page on any rugby blog in RSA!

    Another 12 more prospective tests under that and potentially with an injury, the guy left before because of the RSA public… it’s no surprise he’s fucking off to Japan where he can still ply his trade in less strenuous (mentally and physically) conditions away from the majority of ignorant RSA media/supporters etc…

    He’s still remaining loyal to the club that made him though… it’s seems it’s Province over Country… and I don’t blame him IF (and a big IF) all the above is the case…

    And no he is currently irreplaceable even as an exceptional bench option… there is no other 12 with his attributes available…

    But it’s all speculation… I hope to see him back in the Bok fold sooner rather than never particularly in 2015…

  19. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 6:31 am

    @bryce_in_oz: Nah he left for France because of few issues on himself nobody else.

    Read this Bryce!!!

    http://www.sarugbymag.co.za/blog/details/sar-vault-from-boy-to-man

    Frans Steyn is holding court with the ease of a veteran professional. This is, of course, exactly what he is, despite being just 25 years old. He isn’t the first rugby prodigy to have grown up in the public eye, but few have been held to a higher standard.

    His move to France and Racing Métro in 2009 was as much an escape act as it was a career move. There were a host of contributing factors. He was tired of the positional uncertainty that had seen him regularly shift between wing, centre, flyhalf and fullback. Then there were the unrealistic expectations and criticism that showed little appreciation for the impact that positional merry-go-round had on his consistency. The emotional stress his fractured relationship with then national coach Peter de Villiers was causing added to his sense of despair. Their professional marriage was a deeply dysfunctional one. They lived in the same home, but only for the sake of the kid, read: the Springboks.

    Steyn speaks candidly about this and other issues. He calls his relationship with De Villiers ‘difficult’. I sense he wants to describe it in much stronger terms, with a profanity perhaps. A couple of years ago, having settled into this interview, he would have. But this Frans Steyn, more refined in thought and speech, resists. It is one facet of his broader emotional maturation, ushered in by life and its experiences generally, and life on his own in Paris in particular.

    ‘I’d won a World Cup, a Tri- Nations and a Lions series. But the reality was I was still a boy when I left,’ he says. ‘Maybe not as a player but definitely emotionally and mentally.’

    Some close to Steyn told of an attitude that was abrasive and dismissive to those he didn’t think highly of. I’m initially tentative around this issue, attempting to broach it diplomatically. Then Steyn intervenes.

    ‘They were right. Ja, it’s fair to say when I was younger I had become big-headed,’ he says. ‘Freakin hell, I’d won the World Cup in my second season as a pro, as a 20-year-old. Two years later I’d won everything I could with the Springboks. I was fussed over throughout my schoolboy career, then I played for the Springboks after only a couple of Currie Cup games. It happened so quickly that I probably got swept away by it all.

    ‘I would like to have reacted differently to that early success. I think there is still a little of that in me but I’ve learned to channel that positively, into my play and not my off-field behaviour. There definitely had to be a change. I’m still a work in progress, though.’

    Notwithstanding the invaluable progress he made technically, this is where Steyn’s sojourn and its intangible gifts was as good for him as he was for the city’s beloved club. And it’s this effect those who lambasted his decision to leave so greatly undervalue, fail or refuse to recognise.

    Steyn was a prince in French stadiums but a relative pauper in terms of his celebrity status when outside that realm.

    ‘I could walk the streets of Paris and nobody would give a s**t about me. I’d come from an environment in South Africa where a simple thing like going to the movies was difficult because of the attention I’d get. There are so many things to do in Paris, people’s interests are so wide-ranging in France that sport, especially rugby, doesn’t have the profile it does in South Africa. The constant attention at home probably helped give me an inflated opinion of myself. Being in Paris on my own for the most part gave me room to breathe, to find myself. I travelled to Venice, Seychelles, Canary Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Brussels, Greece … man I went to a lot of places. I learned about the world and about myself in the process. That changed me as a person and I know when you’re content within yourself you’re a better player. I hope that shows.

    ‘I wouldn’t have been the same person had I stayed in South Africa,’ he adds. ‘I’m not sure I would have been over going out and partying. I’m almost sure I would have still been single. I could have been arrested for drunk driving, or worse, been involved in a serious accident. I’m speaking hypothetically, but my life, my outlook and my attitude would probably have been very different had I stayed.’

    Accusations of greed accompanied Steyn’s departure for Racing. The degree of vitriol reflected, in a warped way, how highly Steyn was valued in South Africa. Racing’s valuation was equally emphatic, only they paid in hard cash, not fanfare. He was on one of the most lucrative contracts a South African player had secured with a foreign club. It reflected his standing in the game and the potential influence he had on Racing’s on-field and commercial ambitions. Steyn maintains it isn’t the primary reason he left, but refuses to discount it.

    ‘I don’t know why players are scared of talking about money. A lot of people gave me s**t for going. They said it was all about the money. It wasn’t, but it was a massive reason. It was the same coming back to South Africa and the Sharks; money was a factor,’ he says. ‘People questioned my loyalty. It didn’t have anything to do with my loyalty. I spoke to the Sharks first when I wanted to come back and if I decide to go back to France, I’ll speak to Racing first. I have many flaws, but I’m loyal to those who have been good to me.’

    Heyneke Meyer may inspire such loyalty from Steyn in future. The Springbok coach was unequivocal in his view that Steyn was the man he wanted in midfield. That faith has yet to be repaid in the manner Meyer hopes it will be. Indeed it was absolutely right that the prodigal son’s return was marked with muted celebration. The man has undergone a significant transformation, but the player and his influence should always be the standard by which we measure him.

    The two are inextricably linked, though, in so much as emotionally mature athletes are generally honest with themselves about flaws in their game and aware of how to address them. They are also acutely aware of their strengths and how to impose them, while also possessing sharper processing capacity under pressure, and so are likely to make better decisions. Technically, Steyn has gained much playing against Europe’s elite, and, importantly, has not lost the spirit of adventure that was the standout feature of his play in his formative years.

    He also returns to an environment he enjoys with the Springboks. This was not the case under De Villiers and it undoubtedly reflected in his play.

    ‘I feel a lot more at ease under Heyneke. It’s open, we respect each other and have a two-way relationship,’ he says.

    I ask: ‘Was it one way with Peter?’

    That probe is met with: ‘There wasn’t even one way.’

    Steyn’s personality, nay, his ego, means he doesn’t like tom be shown up, which is what he felt De Villiers did when he recalled him for the Wales Test in June 2010.

    ‘I thought my Test career was over when I joined Racing after the 2009 Tri-Nations. That is what had been said to me by the Springbok management and I left having made peace with that,’ he recalls. ‘Then I was told to join the Test side after I’d been on holiday for four weeks. I asked not to be considered because I knew I was overweight and not sharp, which was to be expected because it was in the French off-season. They said they needed me, but I knew the supporters and coaches would give me s**t if I played poorly and that is exactly what happened. I hadn’t even got on the plane before I heard the stuff about me being fat.

    ‘What the hell did people expect? I was enjoying my vacation – hunting, drinking nice wine, eating whatever I wanted to. That’s a vacation, right? The plan was always to lose the weight I’d gained in pre-season with Racing. That’s common practice in France. But the Springboks came calling and even though I knew I was setting myself up for criticism, I love playing Test rugby. I know there’ll be difficult situations in future, but that one was avoidable. It drained my passion for the game.’

    If you were to compile a list of the 10 most valuable players in the game at present, who would you choose? Dan Carter, Richie McCaw and Sonny Bill Williams would be common selections. Kieran Read would probably make the cut off the back of form that has set him apart and made him the pre-eminent No 8 in the world. Who else? Bismarck du Plessis and Schalk Burger, at their best, are likely to crack the nod. But what of Steyn? His form against Argentina wasn’t outstanding. Certainly there were mitigating factors, the most glaring being a relatively inexperienced pack’s struggles. And yet there were glimpses of the player Meyer described as one ‘you can build a team around’.

    ‘I don’t want that expectation,’ Steyn says. ‘I have a different view on my role and responsibility. If the guys around me tell their kids one day, “Jeez that Frans Steyn put his body on the line,” I’ll be happy.’

    This is where it is apparent that Steyn still has elements of the boy who left South Africa three years ago. This isn’t a bad thing. He struggles when burdened by responsibility.

    Meyer, whose man management has inspired good players to become greats, will have to be subtle and intelligent in his dealings with Steyn if he hopes to achieve this end. In this incarnation of Steyn, he has fertile soil in which to plough.

  20. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 6:47 am

    Well nobody really knows why he is withdrawing. I hope he will sort it out and come back for the RC. He is a great player to have in the squad and with everyone available I would still have Frans at 12 and Jean at 13 as first choice centres.

    For Saturday I would play Serfontein and JP Pietersen with Sithole on the bench. JJ not in good form and he will not enjoy tackling those big centres. I will also not put Morne Steyn at 12 against the 110kg Jamie Roberts(come to think at it Morne should never be considered at 12, imagine him trying to build momentum with a crash ball, not his fault, just the way boks play)

    We should really give Serfontein enough game time now.
    He is a very good player with the potential to be great, and behind Jean is our best option at 12. Forget about Robert Ebersohn (the one in France not the Force). He simply does not suit Heyneke’s criteria for a 12.

  21. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 7:21 am

    @Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits): I really think this is personal and as requested by him and SARU we must respect that.

    Still worried about the amount of games he will be playing this next 12 months but he is the player and he makes his decisions.

  22. avatar Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 7:22 am

    According to Volksblad money is the reason:

    Steyn is volgens ’n ingeligte naby aan die Bok-kamp ontevrede oor ’n belofte wat Saru aan hom gemaak het toe hy van die Franse klubspan Racing Metro na die Haaie teruggekeer het.

    Weens die geskil speel die 27-jarige Steyn glo tans sy rugby vir minder as die helfte van die vergoeding wat hy oorsee kon verdien.

    Volksblad kon nie gisteraand vasstel wat die presiese belofte was nie.

    Volksblad verneem egter Steyn en Saru-amptenare was reeds tydens twee weke gelede se Bok-oefenkamp in Durban in ’n woordewisseling betrokke.

    Steyn het glo toe sy ontevredenheid aangedui, in sy motor geklim en nie langer aan die oefenkamp deelgeneem nie.

  23. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 7:47 am

    @Christo (Vetgesmeerde Blits): Well if that is true it is just f%^&&, Meaning the jersey means nothing anymore….then i do not have any sympathy for him….and if that is the case i hope we never see him back in the Green and Gold

  24. avatar Bekke says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:04 am

    Hak Hak’s legacy will be that he was the first Bok coach when players voluntary withdrew from the Bok team. Frans is not the first – and will not be the last. Who wants to be part of a geriatric trekvoël club? All is certainly not well in the Bok camp – and Saru wants to keep the lid on it (would not be surprised if Hak Hak himself is spreading those rumours via his friend at Volksblad.

  25. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:22 am

    @Bekke: One selfish player and all is not well in the Bok camp….do not get that Bekke…and all of this is still speculations as no one from Bokke or Steyn side has confirm this…..

    I think you get a bit ahead of yourself…..

    I would believe a player will first play for the Bok jersey and then for the money…the big contracts the players have with their unions not with the Boks…..The player is owned by his province not by SARU

    Victor Matfield came back to PTA from France for less money, and i know of allot of players which stayed with their clubs and provinces for less money that was on the table from other parties.

  26. avatar Bekke says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Some players just cannot cope with the foreign environment where they are not treated as demi gods – that’s why bloubal victor and even Hak Hak himself could not make it outside of Pretoria. Nothing to do with money mate.

  27. avatar Aldo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:50 am

    Bekke I need to congratulate you. Every time I think Ive seen it all, you amase me with your stupidity

  28. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 9:24 am

    @Aldo:

    Hahaha…

  29. avatar Jacques(Bunny) says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 9:28 am

    @Aldo: I agree, maybe one of those people that always want to start a fight

  30. avatar Aldo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 9:42 am

    Seriously though on the Steyn issue. The timing for this is horrible, but then you have a player that has played every minute of every game this year. He needs the rest with his knee. Honestly on form, he is the best 12 in our country. As for the money rumours, maybe they are true, but then if I’ve been made a promise by an employer and they dont keep their end, I’d most definitely up and leave as well. Maybe wait for the full story before commenting.

  31. avatar Bekke says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 10:54 am

    Shame, and I was also part of the group that saw from the word go that hakkak was behind victoria’s return – while some praisesingers like faldo said it was just a conspiracy. Today the moaning geriatric sits with a bok contract – who was proven right?
    Unfortunately hakkak has been quite transparent in terms of his unethical behaviour from way back in George, and then even more so under that master of unethical behaviour Solomons at the Stormers. And then his stint overseas – that resulted in him returning with his tail between his leg, hiding behind “personal reasons”…

  32. avatar Boertjie says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 12:06 pm

    Frans, just don’t let the door hit your
    arse on the way out.
    Good bye and good riddance.

  33. avatar bryce_in_oz says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 12:15 pm

    @Bekke:

    Firstly… you didn’t predict jack…

    Secondly… Victor does not have a Bok contract…

    Thirdly… thank fark HM had the foresight to entice VM back to the Bulls and then the Boks… he’s still streets ahead of any other South African in his position…

    Hak-hak indeed…

  34. avatar Welshbok die Brandwag says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    @Aldo:

    hak hak, bekke praat weer kak!

  35. avatar Morné says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 12:40 pm

    @Bekke:

    You are a special kind of dof.

  36. avatar Aldo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Wow, Bekke, Matfield has a Bok contract? Yeah you must be the reincarnation of siener van rensburg. A special kind of dof indeed.

  37. avatar Aldo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 1:01 pm

    I must say, I didnt know you would come out and prove your worth as a clown even further Bekke. Thank you

  38. avatar Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 1:41 pm

    So its the money and not the knee because he aint going to get much rest playing in Japan now is he? Take you cake and keep walking and give another hungry kid a chance at the trough.

  39. avatar Bekke says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Ai faldo, gaan lees nig Hanlie se gesprek met hom. O sorry, jy kan nie lees nie – vra maar jou sussie….praat van dof, meer plof vir jou (soos in koeikak in die wa pad)

  40. avatar Aldo says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    Ai bekke. Miskien moet jy jou feite regkry voor jy wil stry. Matfield het nie n bok kontrak nie, gaan slaap nou, jy is dronk.

  41. avatar DavidS says:
    June 11th, 2014 at 8:40 pm

    Lol… not even a need for me to hand out the traditional Bekke spanking…. others have done it for me…

    Bekke

    Panorama Skool het gebel… hulle het laat weet hulle soek doe domste d00$ wat nog ooit daar op skool was het ontsnap en kan jy nou asseblief teruggaan…

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