Former Springbok centre Frans Steyn has lifted the lid on his departure from the Test scene, admitting it was “a rollercoaster ride”.
Former Springbok centre Frans Steyn has lifted the lid on his departure from the international scene, saying it was “a rollercoaster ride” when he walked.
The 27-year-old Rugby World Cup winner left the squad before the opening fixture against Wales in 2014, sighting the need to consider his future.
It since transpired that the reason for his exit was due to a dispute with the South African Rugby Union (Saru) over image rights payments.
But now, with time away from international rugby, Steyn has revealed all about the past few months in an interview with EWN Sport in South Africa.
“It was a rollercoaster ride for me,” he said.
“We got together in Durban that one week, it had started way before then and it was at the back of my mind but at the stage I was just concentrating on my job at the Sharks. [But] when it came to the Springboks it was difficult for me because of the situation, and stuff I had to deal with there.
“We had a fallout earlier and then I went to the camp and we played the World XV, and then on the Monday, I can't say that there was a vibe, but it was just different for me.”
Steyn stressed there was no issue with Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer, who he praised for bringing him back to South Africa from his stint in the Top 14.
“He played a huge part in my career, in my life. He's the one guy that phoned me and asked me to come back, he told me if I'm not in South Africa I can't play for the Boks and he supported me in coming back,” he said.
“I've got respect for him and I can thank him for bringing me back to South Africa, even though since I've been back it has been a tough ride. It wasn't all fairytales like I thought it would be, I had lots of injuries and people complaining about my form but eventually it just makes me stronger as a person. But I can thank him for bringing me back to South Africa, I think I'm in a much better place in my life now.”
Steyn has been a keen observer of the Springboks during the ongoing Rugby Championship and when asked whether he would don the green and gold again his response was uncertain.
“I don't know that's a tough question,” he added. “We'll have to wait and see what happens or if they need me again one day, but at this stage I'm supporting the Boks the same as all the others supporters in South Africa. I'm supporting them all the way and really hope they do well in the Championship, end of year tour and the World Cup next year.
“I think it would be nice to play for the Boks again, but at the same time I've pretty much made peace with it, I don't think it is going to happen, so I've made peace with that.”
The powerful back continued: “There are always people that are going to like you and people that are going to hate you. All I can say to the supporters that supported me throughout my career, through the downs and the ups, I can just thank them for that, because people don't know rugby players off the field and there's a lot of judgment off the field of them.”