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‘Saru broke promise to Steyn’


  • 12 Jun 2014
Sharks and Springbok centre Frans Steyn Sharks and Springbok centre Frans Steyn

Frans Steyn's father has confirmed that a contractual dispute is one of the major reasons why the Springbok centre walked out on the national squad.

Steyn has played a lot of rugby of late, and is set to play a lot more when he joins a Japanese club later in the year. However, it's been revealed that money was another reason why he left the Bok squad on Tuesday, just four days before the first Test of the season against Wales.

Steyn's father told Die Burger that Saru did not adhere to a contractual promise that they had made to his son. This agreement was made prior to Steyn leaving French club Racing Métro in 2012.

Piet Steyn also told the newspaper that there were other reasons besides money for his son's abrupt departure.

'If it was only about money, then Frans would never have returned from France to play in South Africa. He is in top form and is playing some of his best rugby. He has matured and makes thoughtful decisions.'

On Thursday evening, Saru issued a statement in response.

Jurie Roux, CEO of Saru, said: 'In light of media coverage following Frans’ request to leave the Springbok squad, we have been placed in a very difficult position.

'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’s 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’s wishes, whatever other considerations may have been on his mind are not for me to discuss.'

Steyn has stated on many occasions that he is passionate about the Boks and hopes to play more than 100 Tests. At this stage, however, it is unclear when he will return to add to his current tally of 53 caps.

Photo: Anesh Debiky/Gallo Images

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