SARU have issued a statement insisting that the contractual dispute with Frans Steyn was not “a cause for a major upheaval.”
The South African Rugby Union have issued a statement insisting that the contractual dispute with Frans Steyn was not “a cause for a major upheaval.”
On Tuesday, Steyn pulled out of the Springbok squad to face Wales and Scotland after asking “for some time to consider his international playing future.”
Reports in the South African media suggest that the 2007 World Cup winner – who has been struggling with a chronic knee injury – was at loggerheads with SARU over the handling of image rights.
Steyn's father, Piet Steyn, told Thursday's Die Burger that SARU had not adhered to a contractual promises they had made to his son but added that money was not the only reason behind his son's decision to pull out. He said there were “other issues” that cannot be disclosed.
“In light of media coverage following Frans' request to leave the Springbok squad, we have been placed in a very difficult position,” read a statement for SARU chief executive Jurie Roux.
“We have an agreement with players in respect of the rights of both employer and employee not to publicly discuss any contractual situation and I will not breach that. However, allegations have been made that affect the reputation of the South African Rugby Union and Frans Steyn as an employee and person and they cannot go unchallenged.
“It is alleged that SARU breached a promise to Frans in terms of his contract. I can confirm that there was a dispute over mechanisms by which one element of Frans' 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 a cause for a major upheaval.
“Out of respect for Frans' wishes, whatever other considerations may have been on his mind are not for me to discuss.
“I look forward to his return to playing in the near future in Vodacom Super Rugby as he has been a good servant to the Springboks and his franchise”