Steyn not training with Boks due to 'club, family things'

Frans Steyn (Gallo Images)
Frans Steyn (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Utility back Frans Steyn has not been training with the Springboks this week due to "logistical issues", coach Rassie Erasmus confirmed.

Steyn, who plies his trade at French club Montpellier, was included in the Springbok training group which assembled last weekend, but questions were raised when he did not train with the squad this week.

When probed on the matter by reporters in Pretoria on Wednesday, Erasmus said: "It's visas, admin, family things and things with his club... so it's a just a matter of sorting out a few logistics... from Saturday he will be with us full-time, so he's just back to sort out some logistics."

Regarding Steyn's fitness, Erasmus added: "He's not as fit as our fittest guy, but he's definitely fitter than our least fittest guy."

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 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:


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)


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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