PRO14

The 2 things that make home-bound Frans Steyn a real Cheetahs asset

Frans Steyn. (Getty Images)
Frans Steyn. (Getty Images)
Tim Clayton
  • Decorated Springbok Frans Steyn will hopefully be in South Africa in the next day or two after struggling to find a flight out of France before his contract with the Cheetahs starts on Wednesday.
  • Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie is excited to work with him, particularly as his will to win and enthusiasm to return home could prove an immensely value-adding combo for the squad.
  • Steyn is part of a recruitment drive that has placed a premium on experience and proven ability.

Frans Steyn is, hopefully, returning home on Monday.

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The decorated Springbok, who became only the second South African to win two Rugby World Cups last year, will contractually commence his stint with the Cheetahs on Wednesday.

But it's been a hard slog for the 32-year-old midfielder to leave France, where he's been based for the past five seasons at Montpellier.

"Frans hopes to return early this week," Hawies Fourie, the Cheetahs' head coach, told Sport24

"He's been struggling for quite a few weeks now to find a flight out of Europe, but it seems his perseverance has paid off."

A player of Steyn's pedigree undeniably represents a huge coup for the men from Bloemfontein though Fourie pertinently highlights two factors that turns his signature into something truly value-adding.

"This isn't just a big-name acquisition," said the Cheetahs mentor.

"I'm really excited about Frans' potential impact. He's a player who'll always be competitive, a player who wants to win. That's an attitude that will rub off on his team-mates.

"And to add to that is his immense desire to finally come play in Bloemfontein. It's a great combination of traits, a serial winner who's keen to be back home. I'm confident the squad will feed off his wisdom and enthusiasm." 

Steyn won't be able to immediately fall in with his new team-mates as lockdown regulations dictate that he'll need to self-isolate for 14 days upon entering the country.

However, with local franchises only tentatively slated to return to training at the start of next week, he would potentially only miss one week of what will anyway only be non-contact sessions.

He's part of a Cheetahs recruitment drive that has placed a premium on proven ability.

Thirty-six-year-old Ruan Pienaar already helped spearhead the suspended PRO14 campaign last year, while the experienced pair of 29-year-old locks Carl Wegner and Reniel Hugo have returned to fill the void left by the influential duo of Sintu Manjezi and Walt Steenkamp.

Rosko Specman, who is 31, also represents an experienced and classy option.

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