Following Frans Steyn’s retirement from professional rugby, social media has been buzzing with memes, stats, videos and his best moments of the legendary Springbok.
Steyn announced his retirement on Tuesday evening with a knee injury forcing him to hang up his boots, denying him the opportunity to defend the Rugby World Cup title in France.
One clip from Supersport’s show The Full Circle caught our eye, with Steyn sharing a story of his early days as a Springboks player in 2007.
Appearing alongside his form teammate Schalk Burger on the show, Steyn shared the story about when he was entrusted with leading the team chant and failed miserably.
Frans Steyn’s gaffe
The incident occurred during the 2007 Tri Nations match between the Wallabies and Springboks at Newlands when Steyn famously slotted two drop goals guiding South Africa to a 22-19 victory.
“I think I was still thinking about the Super Rugby Final from the week before,” Steyn explained.
“I don’t know if Schalk can remember what happened… but we had a walk walkthrough that morning before the game.”
“And I never got to shout ‘Bokke’ [in the huddle] or whatever, I never did, and I never will… I don’t like stuff like that but anyway.
“And we got in the circle and John [Smit, the Springboks captain at the time] went ‘Steyntjie go’, and I was hesitant, and I couldn’t remember what the hell and I went ‘SHARKS!,'” Steyn added with Burger and the hosts’ Gobo and Ndungane bursting into laughter.
😂 "I went 'Shaaaarrrks!', I thought Victor was going to kill me!"
A brilliant story about that 2007 Test match against the Wallabies!
📺 Watch The Full Circle: Frans Steyn on Thursday night at 8PM. pic.twitter.com/ECwiRQRsit
— SuperSport Rugby (@SSRugby) July 12, 2023
“It rings a bell now,” Burger added.
“I thought Victor [Matfield] and them [the other Bulls players] were going to kill me; Jaque Fourie was laughing and crying almost,” Steyn said.
“I mean, there were some serious people there, and I thought I’m just going to stay in the hotel the rest of the day, and I’m just lucky it worked out the way it did.”
Steyn won two Rugby World Cups with the Springboks, the first in 2007 and then in 2019, replicating Os du Randt, who also won his second World Cup 12 years on from his first success in 1995.
He became the youngest player in the modern era to debut for the Springboks in a Test when he made his debut at left wing against Ireland in November 2006 at the age of 19 years and 181 days, scoring in the defeat too.
He earned the last of his 78 Tests for the Springboks, the final one coming last year, with his international career spanning 15 years and 317 days between his debut and his final game.
Outside of his Test career, Steyn also played in three non-Tests and represented the Sharks, the Cheetahs, and the Brave Lupus in Japan, as well as French clubs Racing 92 and Montpellier.