Morne Steyn has revealed that he wanted to stay at Loftus Versfeld, but a change in plan from Jake White resulted in the former Springbok flyhalf jumping into the Lions’ den.
Steyn was surprisingly announced by the Lions as the union’s new kicking consultant, ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Known as the darling of Loftus Versfeld, Steyn spent over 14 years across two stints at the Vodacom Bulls, winning multiple Super Rugby and Currie Cup titles.
Vodacom Bulls director of rugby White has overhauled his coaching unit after a disappointing quarter-final exit last season, recruiting the likes of Gary Gold and former Cheetahs flyhalf Kennedy Tsimba.
However, while Steyn wanted to stay in a kicking coach capacity, having retired from professional rugby, he revealed that it was not an option.
“I spoke to the Bulls and was supposed to start in August with the juniors, because the senior team do not want me as a kicking consultant or coach,” Steyn told the media. “And behind the scenes, I heard Jake didn’t want me there anymore. He had other plans.
“The Bulls haven’t had a kicking coach since [current France kicking coach] Vlok Cilliers left, so it is a new thing.
“Maybe in the next year or two, Jake will look at it, but at the moment I don’t think he wants a kicking consultant or coach there.
“[Bulls assistant coach] Chris Roussouw is at Loftus so he is doing a lot of the kicking game and is helping some of the guys.”
Steyn said that there are no hard feelings between himself and the Vodacom Bulls and he is still hopeful an opportunity to return to his old stomping ground as a coach will open up in the future.
For now, the former Springbok is making the most of a two-year contract with the Lions, where he will be part of training sessions, but not matchdays or tours.
“With me being a consultant, I come in three times a week during pre-season and then two times a week during the regular season.
“It is all about getting the guys on the training field, putting the work in every day and helping them with new drills and things they are not used to,” Steyn said.
“Guys like [Lions assistant coaches] Jacques Fourie and Ricardo Laubscher will cover the coaching aspect and I will sit in with them and give my opinions.
“It’s not like I’m just going to teach them to kick and leave, I will play a part in the whole kicking game.
“I signed a two-year deal so as the years go I will see how my role will change.”
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