Steyn released after family tragedy

Date published: August 3 2015

South Africa have released Francois Steyn from their squad following the death of his brother, Wimpie.

Steyn had been in training with the Springboks ahead of their match with Argentina this weekend in Durban.

Springboks team manager Ian Schwartz confirmed the news.

“Frans informed me straight after our morning session on Monday and as soon as he heard the sad and tragic news that his brother had passed away,” said Schwartz.

“We will not take any decisions on his immediate involvement with the squad – his personal situation is now the most important and we will support him and his family wherever we can in this very difficult time.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with Frans and his entire family in this time of mourning.”

Reports in South Africa state that Steyn's brother took his own life at the family farm in Bethlehem on Monday.

Meanwhile, team doctor Craig Roberts is optimistic that Jean de Villiers, Jan Serfontein, Fourie du Preez, Willem Alberts and Pieter-Steph du Toit could all be considered for selection for the first time this season.

Marcell Coetzee (knee), Warren Whiteley (rib cartilage), Vincent Koch (rib cartilage) and Frans Malherbe (hip) will be assessed over the next 48 hours before Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer names his team to face Argentina on Wednesday.

Victor Matfield (hamstring), JP Pietersen (hamstring), Francois Louw (shoulder) and Jannie du Plessis (knee) will not be considered for selection, while Coenie Oosthuizen and Duane Vermeulen will continue with their rehabilitation from long-term injuries.

“We’ll see how Jean, Jan, Fourie, Willem and Pieter-Steph go in training on Tuesday but all of them took full part in our morning session on Monday and came through very well,” said Roberts.

“Jean has had two games for Western Province where he played 140 minutes and Pieter-Steph played 40 minutes for the Sharks on Friday, and we’re very happy with their progress and grateful for their provinces assisting with their rehabilitation."