De Villiers ends tiff with Steyn

2010-05-29 00:00

FRANS Steyn, the gifted Springbok utility back, and national coach Peter de Villiers have kissed and made up and South African supporters will today be toasting the happy couple.

Following a war of words in the media, the 23-year-old Steyn and De Villiers met in Johannesburg yesterday and the former Sharks player committed himself to Springbok rugby.

Steyn, who earlier this week indicated he would not play for the Springboks against Wales next Saturday, has done an about-turn and has now confirmed his availability for the Cardiff Test.

The SA Rugby Union released a statement which suggested that Steyn’s involvement with the Springboks would not be limited to this one-off Test against Wales.

“Steyn’s future availability for the Springboks will be arranged with his French club, Racing Metro,” read the statement.

De Villiers has previously snubbed overseas-based players, though he did include six in the team to play Wales, both to monitor their form and to rest senior Springboks the week after the Super 14 final.

Convenor of Springbok selectors Peter Jooste and Gerrie Swart, Steyn’s agent, also attended yesterday’s meeting.

De Villiers said that the differences between him and Steyn have been settled.

“We discussed our relationship over the past few months and certain concerns of Frans were addressed and resolved,” said De Villiers.

“Frans confirmed his loyalty and commitment to the Springboks and people of South Africa and I can’t wait to see him back in green and gold.”

The meeting also discussed statements which De Villiers has made which are highly critical of Steyn and Swart, and documentary evidence was presented at the meeting.

De Villiers said he “accepted the evidence and apologised for any negative interpretations concerning the reputation and good name of Frans Steyn and Mr Swart brought about by quotes attributed to him in the media”.

Steyn and Swart have accepted De Villiers’s apology and “all parties now regard the matter as closed and will make no further comment on the subject,” the Saru statement read.

The meeting was arranged by Jooste after Steyn withdrew from the team to play Wales.

De Villiers claimed that it was Swart who was poisoning Steyn’s mind with “lies” and agreed to meet the young Springbok to clear the air.

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