Steyn was not paid as promised

2014-06-13 00:00

PAYMENTS promised but not paid for the value of the Frans Steyn “trademark” is the real issue that saw the Springbok centre decamp the national training squad.

From what could be learnt, the commercial manager at the South African Rugby Union Andy Marinos had promised Steyn the union would pay for Steyn’s trademark, which is owned by a third party.

Saru made the promise to compensate Steyn for leaving French club Racing Metro, where he could earn millions more in rands than what the Sharks can afford to pay him.

Saru initially kept its promise, but then stopped paying.

Steyn has, as a result, withdrawn from the national team and is reportedly preparing to take his wife and child to Japan, where he can earn a lot more by playing a lot less physical style of rugby.

Saru CEO Jurie Roux confirmed there was a dispute over mechanisms by which one element of Steyn’s Springbok remuneration was to be paid. “That issue was addressed. Some minor details remain to be sorted out, but they are not of such a scale as to be cause for major upheaval.” He said out of respect for Steyn’s wishes, “whatever other considerations may have been on his mind are not for me to discuss” and he looked forward to Steyn’s return to Super Rugby for the Sharks in the future. He said Steyn has been “a good servant to the Springboks and his franchise”. Sister paper Volksblad has, however, learnt that if the small details are not sorted out, Steyn will not play for the Bok team again, despite having very good relations with the coach Heyneke Meyer and fellow players.

Upon finishing the Super Rugby series with the Sharks, Steyn will join the Japanese club team Toshiba Brave Lupus. He plans to return to play Super Rugby for the Sharks in 2015.

Former Bok captain Wynand Claassen said he sympathised with Steyn. “If a promise is not kept, he has a case,” said Claassen.

Rugby commentator Naas Botha said the Saru official who made a promise to pay should step forward and pay the promised amount from his own pocket.

On the other hand, said Botha, it was also unfair from players to expect Saru must equal the millions of rands that top players can earn overseas.

Botha said players should play rugby for the highest bidder and decide if they want to play for national pride when the Boks invite them. “If you play for your country, money should actually not be the motivational factor,” said Botha.

In 1983, Botha was invited by the Dallas Cowboys to hire out his accurate boot as place kicker for the American football team, but returned to play rugby in South Africa.

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