Van Graan: Phenomenal Steyn deserves all the respect

Johann van Graan has sung the praises of veteran Vodacom Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn, who is set to return early from a three-week suspension to face his Munster team on Saturday.

Van Graan and Steyn have a long-standing relationship that stretches back to when the former Springbok assistant coach joined the Bulls as a junior coach in 2003, when Steyn had also made the move after matriculating in Bloemfontein.

Steyn has been cleared to play a week early from his three-week ban for a dangerous tackle after completing the World Rugby HPC Coaching Intervention process, where a player can undergo a coaching session to modify their technique or behaviours.

The 37-year-old is now set to face Van Graan’s Munster team in a Vodacom United Rugby Championship match at Loftus Versfeld on Saturday.

“His greatest quality as a human being and rugby player is his humility,” Van Graan told Sport24.

“To achieve what he has at 38 [is amazing]. He’s in tip-top condition still. I actually bumped into him at a coffee shop outside our hotel and he’s in phenomenal shape.”

Steyn missed the Bulls’ bonus-point win over Zebre in Italy, but his availability against Munster will be a massive boost for Jake White’s team.

Van Graan added the decision to bring Steyn back from France has been justified, as the flyhalf was instrumental in leading the Bulls to the Super Rugby Unlocked and 2020-21 Currie Cup titles.

“I’m not sure if he, at least initially, thought he’d return to the Bulls, but he’s been a massive success for them,” said Van Graan.

“He’s been so important to the Bulls, in fact, any team that he’s played for. He’s delivered some phenomenal performances at Loftus.

“Across all rugby, you really have to respect Morne and what he’s achieved. Whether he starts or is selected on the bench this weekend, he’ll be a big factor that we’ll have to reckon with.”

Photo: Christiaan Kotze/BackpagePix

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Dylan Jack