Springboks

Steyn 100% committed to Boks, has eye on Lions series

Frans Steyn (Gallo)
Frans Steyn (Gallo)

Cape Town - Utility back Frans Steyn is 100% committed to the Springboks and will be available for all the team's Tests in 2019, a report indicates.

According to Afrikaans newspaper Rapport, Steyn will start training with the Boks from Monday after sitting out last week's training sessions in Pretoria.

Coach Rassie Erasmus said last week that Steyn, who plies his trade at French club Montpellier, missed the training sessions due to "logistical issues".

Rapport indicated on Sunday that Steyn, upon request from his French club, needed to rest for four weeks following the European season.

The report added that he will be available for all of South Africa's Tests in 2019 and also has his eye on playing against the British and Irish Lions in 2021.

Steyn, who played the last of his 56 Tests in 2017, has had an on-off involvement with the Springboks in recent years.

In 2014, he made headlines when he pulled out of Heyneke Meyer's squad over a dispute with SA Rugby.

Last year, before the home series against England, Steyn was included in Erasmus' initial squad, but withdrew due to injury and wasn't picked for the remainder of the Test season.

Erasmus last week added that, in the past, it hasn't always been easy for the Boks to rope in overseas-based players.

"Sometimes with overseas-based players some of the things are outside their control. That's why we've sent out the Regulation 9 letter to all the (overseas) clubs and said 'listen, we're just warning you beforehand that we are going to call up the players'. And that's why I flew over last year to all the clubs and saw the owners to say 'listen, for the World Cup we actually have to call the guys up'.

"In the past we didn't tell them that and they signed contracts and there were promises made by agents... and in some cases the players were caught up in the middle because agents had made promises. I've now had the opportunity to go around to all the clubs and chat to the owners. So I'm comfortable with all the players that are here. I know where I stand with them, where their heart lies and what their ambitions are."

The Springboks will kick off their shortened Rugby Championship campaign on Saturday, July 20, against the Wallabies in Johannesburg, which will be followed a week later by the keenly awaited rematch with New Zealand in Wellington - the scene of last year’s epic away-win against the All Blacks.

The Boks will conclude their official campaign against Argentina two weeks later, on Saturday, August 10, in Salta, while the same two teams are set to meet again a week later in Pretoria in a once-off Test before the Boks report for Rugby World Cup training duty.

Springbok training group:

Forwards

Schalk Brits (Bulls), Marcell Coetzee (Ulster, Ireland), Lood de Jager (Bulls), Thomas du Toit (Sharks), Pieter-Steph du Toit (Stormers), Rynhardt Elstadt (Toulouse, France), Eben Etzebeth (Stormers), Lizo Gqoboka (Bulls), Steven Kitshoff (Stormers), Vincent Koch (Saracens, England), Siya Kolisi (Stormers), Francois Louw (Bath), Frans Malherbe (Stormers), Malcolm Marx (Lions), Bongi Mbonambi (Stormers), Tendai Mtawarira (Sharks), Franco Mostert (Gloucester, England), Trevor Nyakane (Bulls), Marvin Orie (Lions), Kwagga Smith (Lions), RG Snyman (Bulls), Duane Vermeulen (Bulls), Marco van Staden (Bulls)

Backs

Lukhanyo Am (Sharks), Damian de Allende (Stormers), Andre Esterhuizen (Sharks), Faf de Klerk (Sale Sharks, England), Aphiwe Dyantyi (Lions), Warrick Gelant (Bulls), Elton Jantjies (Lions), Herschel Jantjies (Stormers), Cheslin Kolbe (Toulouse, France), Jesse Kriel (Bulls), Dillyn Leyds (Stormers), Makazole Mapimpi (Sharks), Sibusiso Nkosi (Sharks), Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz, Japan), Handre Pollard (Bulls), Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints, England), Frans Steyn (Montpellier, France)

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