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just saw this one. no mention of injury at 29 not old for a prop - so he is going to keep playing for saracens? and then - i don't know enough about him but is he likely to go in to a coaching role with the club? sometimes wonder what becomes of these players - who have been in the professional era and maybe not had time to ever get an occupation/career beyond rugby.
a few months back paul tito came back to nz (from cardiff blues) at 34 and said he had never had a job since school - hope he's saved a bit, he's now doing unpaid with his old high school team
Posted 07:19 05th September 2012
@Daibok and someone else who I can't be bothered to confirm right now
We get it, the man was born in SA!!! If he had played for your age grade teams and maybe a currie cup team, then your attempt at making him out to be a (poor) SA prop (that you lent to England where he managed to get 44 caps, hence moral of the story, SA rugby is better than English rugby) might hold some water.
But a bit pathetic all the same if you ask me
Posted 19:45 10th August 2012
@ daibok - he came to England because he had English parents and wanted to study here (such is the dire education available in SA, it would appear). Having played for SA U18 and U19 and then England U21, he realised that the standard in SA was so poor that he never wanted to go back.
I also heard that he found SA full of people who like to put "bok" in their username and have an unhealthy affiliation with Eugène Terre'Blanche.
Can't blame him really, can you?
Posted 17:15 10th August 2012
Jesus guys, some of the SH comments on here just come across as pathetic and without a point. If you have nothing constructive to say then just move on. tha_mai, you are just making yourself look like foolish. Why not read what people are saying? Nobody thinks Matt Stevens is a world class prop and by the worlds propping standards was probably average. As people have said on here, and you are who? Actually, he was a decent player and was good around the park. He was also a really nice chap (as I have also met him a couple of times). Why not just give the guy a break and wish him well. People like you are the first to get all titchy if anybody comments on a player from your country. We all know the sort of guy you are as that is plain to see. Best not to embarrass yourself further, eh?
Posted 15:23 10th August 2012
UBAO5 - I have nothing against Stevens but he wasnt good enough to play 44 tests for his country. That's why he came to England.
Posted 12:15 10th August 2012
Always came over as a nice bloke. I think he is a kind, easy going guy. Not perfect, but are you??? ;)
On the pitch, I don't think he was as good a scummager as the media and his coaches made out. I don't think other premiereship front rows panicked at the sight of his name. He was over-hyped. Still, Props are highly paid so I hope he did alright out of his rugby career and I wish him the very best in the future.
Posted 12:09 10th August 2012
@ tha_mai - you're serious aren't you?! You actually believe that a single player is responsible for the win : loss ratio of a team. Do you play, or have you played, rugby? At any level? Even at the levels I played we considered it to be a TEAM SPORT.
I get the suspicion that you have played at no higher than junior school level and base all of your knowledge on stats and media. You probably watch a few games too, but I suspect you find them tiresome and unexciting. Most on here love the game, you seem to love nothing more than to criticise.
"One of the adequates of the game; hardly memorable or headline-worthy."
"Hardly memorable to me as a 'great' internationally, but perhaps makes the grade as far as English statisticians go. Adequate."
He's still a whole lot better than all of us. Yes, you included.
Why do you have such an issue with England and all things English? You seem to troll the England rugby stories and chuck around useless facts as if to prove a point. The only point you're proving is what a twerp you are.
Who do you support? Let's pick one of their props - one who usually sits on the bench, rather than their first pick - and have a look at their win : loss ratio shall we? Actually, let's not. That'd just be sad and pathetic.
Posted 12:09 10th August 2012
He was a player I loved to watch, it's a shame that he never regained the form he was showing before his ban. Though the fact you get a ban for two year for using a recreational drug compared to the couple of weeks some players get for eye gouging is ridiculous. One is putting yourself at risk and the other is potentially blinding someone for the rest of their lives. Priorities need to be sorted out.
Posted 10:56 10th August 2012
Payrise at sarries a la Julian white at tigers?
Posted 10:56 10th August 2012
a 54% win rate, a zero % win rate v both NZ and SA - that's zero from ten tests againts the mediocre southern hemisphere teams..
Hardly memorable to me as a 'great' internationally, but perhaps makes the grade as far as English statisticians go. Adequate.
Posted 10:53 10th August 2012
@ ArmchairGeneral, lawynd & Dingbat32 - Hear! Hear!
@ craigster99 - it was a drugs ban for taking recreational. He did his time in exile and came back - a lot more than many of the other Bath players who were at it, who ran for the hills and "retired". I'm a Bath fan and it was a low, low time for us as a team. But at least he had the balls to admit he had an issue and sought the help he required.
The fact that on his return there were better props around is another matter. I wish he been allowed to specialise as a TH or LH, rather than being forced to "play both sides", which I think was to his detriment.
And he still has 44 caps (including a RWC Final) more than us lot!
@ JamieTheProp - if not D-J, who I think will develop into an excellent prop, then who? Bear in mind who's ahead of him in the pecking order, he'll learn a lot from them and Rowntree, and I think he has great potential. But I played back-row, so I'll admit my knowledge of the FR "Dark Arts" is limited.
@ tha_mai - played much international rugby, have you? A RWC final? A B&I Lions Tour? Nope? Mediocre compared to some of the world's best is still a flimsy argument; but compared to the rest of the world, no he's not. Even if he was 4th choice for England and England's props were the worst of the top 20 nations, that still makes him the 80th best prop in the world (pendants not welcome - I'm making a point, not actually trying to give a statisticion a semi- !!!).
Give the guy a break. He was never the best prop in the world and never claimed to be. He missed a huge chunk of his best years during his ban, so who knows what he could have been. Should he have taken drugs? No. Should he have had help more readily available? Without doubt. Too many players are suffering in silence and I hope Ding-Dong's recent admission will make it easier for those who are to get the help they need.
Posted 09:27 10th August 2012
a wasted career, was near the top of his game when he got banned and despite returning a better man and, arguably, a better player had dropped too far down the pecking order to get proper game-time on his favoured side.
@craigster99 an over-simplified remark - he was not guilty of performance enhancement or cheating. His ban came about as a result of an addiction and (it would appear from subsequent revelations) a more deep-rooted issue amongst some of Bath's more senior playing staff.
I wish him well and trust that his problems are now behind him.
Posted 09:26 10th August 2012
@ tha_mai and you played for which national team??? Oh yeah, sorry I forgot, sitting on the couch on your fat a*# doesn't count!
The man played 44 tests for his country, Even if he doesnt measure up to your 'high" standards, read the story and move on or skip it altogether. No need for your disrespectful nonsense.
The least a man (always seemed like a good guy to me) retiring after playing for 44 tests deserves is some respect!!!
Posted 09:24 10th August 2012
Wow, surprised by some of the spitefull comments on here ! As a bath fan about 5 years ago I watched matt develop into a very exciting prop playing like a backrow/centre with a pacy offloading game and hitting rucks. He deserved his place in the england set up and it was a massive disapointment when he got his drugs ban and then switched to sarries. Since then prior to the world cup matt did an amazing job breaking back into the england team after such a long time off and i remember his games for the saxons in the churchill cup were immense and it was on the back of these he made the RWC. At the RWC he was brought on time and time again as a loosehead when he is tighthead prop and his demolition at scrum time by one of the worlds best tightheads (Mas) was one of the contributing factors to our exit. I feel his retirement may be too early and with a few more sessions with rowntree and being played at tighthead he may have rediscovered some of his old spark but in the same breath perhaps now its time to let the young uns come through. Good luck to you matt.
Posted 09:09 10th August 2012
It was perhaps inevitable, but still a great shame, that he came back from his ban only half the plaer he was before. He suffered from being (just about) able to play at loosehead aswell as his preferred tighthead position, so is now realtively weak in the scrum for England and has also lost his mobility in the loose. He certainly isn't a loss to England on current form.
That said, I always thought that he was a very humble (difficult for a Saffa!) person and genuinly nice guy, who had personal issues, but got over them. Apparantly, during his ban he learnt judo and got to the National finals within 12-14 months!
The sooner international ruls allow teams to have 2 props on the bench, the better as there are very few players who can be equally effective on both sides, so players like Stevens are always going to be maligned for being weak on their less favoured side.
Marler surprised me slightly on the SA tour, he was better in the scrum than I thought he would be, so he and Corbs seem to be two pretty good looseheads. The problem is a second tighthead behind Cole. I'm not sure that we have a back up who can step up to international rugby.
Posted 08:19 10th August 2012
Headline: 'Mediocre Journeyman Retires'.
One of the adequates of the game; hardly memorable or headline-worthy.
Posted 01:25 10th August 2012
Doran Jones should get nowhere near a props jersey after his performance is SA - ever!
Posted 01:13 10th August 2012
One of the weaker scrummagers in international rugby. Not sure how he kept making the English team given that England seem to have a lot of quality props.
Posted 00:08 10th August 2012
craigster99 - the ban was for addiction to recreational drugs, not for using drugs for sporting enhancement. Big difference, hence compassion for Stevens, and belief from many that extent of his ban was harsh. After all, other users at Bath got off scot free!
Posted 22:47 09th August 2012
@craigster99 - if you're going to be that pedantic, you might want to point out that it was non-performance-enhancing drugs and he was suffering from serious depression.
Posted 20:22 09th August 2012