robdylan

Steyn for a Bath (and hopefully a haircut too)?


Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks on 9 May 2008 at 12:04
Tagged with :

And still it continues. It is only four days since Harlequins confirmed the signing of the All Black outside-half Nick Evans – news met with much wailing and gnashing of teeth down Auckland way – yet the focus has already shifted to potential targets for the Guinness Premiership’s next raid on the southern hemisphere. Frans Steyn for Bath? If that happens, the rest of the world may as well give up on their domestic rugby and go surfing instead.

Chirs Hewitt reports for The Independent.

Steyn is not yet 21. He is an unbelievable talent – last autumn, he was first pick for the Springboks as they won their second world title in a dozen years – and as such, he can command Jonny Wilkinson-style wages. He has had a rough time of it in Super 14 this season, what with the Durban-based Sharks’ apparent determination to play him everywhere except in his optimum position of inside centre and the daft experimental rules foisted upon the competition by the International Rugby Board.

If he looks north and sees the likes of Butch James, John Smit and Victor Matfield earning themselves a mint while playing real union, why wouldn’t he be tempted?

But there has to be a limit, surely, on the number of South Africans, New Zealanders and Australians pouring into the English club game. Argentinians and Pacific Islanders are in a different category, because they have no meaningful professional competitions to call their own, but the “Big Three” boast proper teams and proper infrastructures. If they really cannot compete with the British Isles and France, the 15-man code could ultimately contract to the size of the 13-man one.

Of course, season’s end is the perfect time for transfer rumour, and it is perfectly possible that Steyn will stay home. But his name is being bandied around Recreation Ground with considerable gusto, as is that of the All Black flanker Jerry Collins, and it is not difficult to see why. Olly Barkley, a goal-kicking centre in the form of his life, is in the last throes of his career at Bath before heading up the M5 to Gloucester, and Olly Barkleys do not grow on trees. If, as is widely expected, the England midfielder Toby Flood joins Leicester, the West Countrymen will have to look elsewhere to replace their most influential back.

One southern hemisphere signing was confirmed yesterday: Craig Newby, capped by New Zealand in 2004 and 2006, will join Leicester next season for a second stint in the Premiership, having spent time with Newcastle a couple of years back. He is currently playing Super 14 rugby with the Otago-based Highlanders.

Meanwhile, Bristol completed their signings for the 2008-09 campaign by dipping into National League One and signing two young half-backs, Sam Alford from Launceston and Chris Ashwin from Newbury. And there’s the rub.

Bristol are not among the wealthy of the Premiership: while the salary cap is being raised to £4m plus, they will not go close to spending that amount next season. They have a brilliant coach in Richard Hill, but it takes an awful lot of back-room brilliance to bridge the gap between a World Cup-winner from South Africa and a lad from the shires.

Paul Gustard, the 32-year-old Saracens loose forward, will join his fellow back-rower Richard Hill in retiring from professional rugby at the end of the season. The club also announced that two more senior forwards, the prop Kevin Yates and the lock Iain Fullarton, would be leaving the club following this weekend’s final Premiership match with Bristol at Milton Keynes.



20 Comments

  • The story on Keo adds some more detail. The most important seems to be the fact that Steyn has a contract with the Sharks until the end of next year. That means that Bath (or anyone else) can’t legally approach him until September next year at the earliest.

    Other news seems to indicate that John Smit will be back with the Sharks soon

  • Comment 1, posted at 09.05.08 12:06:40 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • I think this is really a bit spurious, though… if any of the Bath scouts had actually seen Steyn play this year, I doubt they’d be after him

  • Comment 2, posted at 09.05.08 12:08:35 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Maybe Loffie can shop for Steyn?

  • Comment 3, posted at 09.05.08 12:09:53 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • why would you want to do that?

  • Comment 4, posted at 09.05.08 12:16:45 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • What a load of crock. There’s no ways Steyn will sign for a foreign club at this stage of his career.

    But I agree with the calls for a restriction on foreigh players. They can’t stop SA “Kolpaks” or EU players, but the really funny thing is that there is a restriction on the number of Aus/NZers that can actually start games. Of course there is always a loophole for these players in that they have an old granny who was British/Scottish so they play as locals, even though they don’t have UK passports. Its all madness.

    Don’t get me started on the county cricket though…

  • Comment 5, posted at 09.05.08 12:17:17 by Le Requinny Reply
    Author
    QuinnysharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • #4 He’s young…can still develop into a useful player..LOL!

  • Comment 6, posted at 09.05.08 12:22:12 by walter van transvaal.co.za Reply

    walter van Lions WorldCurrie Cup player
     
  • Sounds like nothing more than a rumour that the journalist latched onto to help him make his point.

  • Comment 7, posted at 09.05.08 12:23:19 by racheltjiedebeer Reply

    McLovinAssistant coach
     
  • What an odd article. Really doesnt say much at all.

    I found this very strange:
    He has had a rough time of it in Super 14 this season, what with the Durban-based Sharks’ apparent determination to play him everywhere except in his optimum position of inside centre and the daft experimental rules foisted upon the competition by the International Rugby Board.

    If he looks north and sees the likes of Butch James, John Smit and Victor Matfield earning themselves a mint while playing real union, why wouldn’t he be tempted?

    So Hewitt is saying the NH sides wont be playing under the ELVs next season when they obviously are.

  • Comment 8, posted at 09.05.08 12:25:52 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • maybe he has his head in the ground?

    Or maybe up his own ass?

  • Comment 9, posted at 09.05.08 12:55:54 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Speculation. That’s all.
    Steyn in England would be the epitome of lost in translation.

  • Comment 10, posted at 09.05.08 13:05:59 by CapeShark Reply
    Author
    The Great Couch SharkSuper Rugby player
     
  • He would fit in just fine… he got go live in Rotherhithe and hang out at “Die Aardvark” on weekends.

  • Comment 11, posted at 09.05.08 13:10:45 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Hewitt also refers to rugby in the NH as “Real Union” suggesting that the Super 14 is somehow play-play?

  • Comment 12, posted at 09.05.08 13:14:00 by hellbent Reply

    Under 21 player
     
  • this isn’t the same Hewitt who’s just been appointed Bok media liaison, is it?

  • Comment 13, posted at 09.05.08 13:22:22 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • He would fit in just fine… he got go live in Rotherhithe and hang out at “Die Aardvark” on weekends.

    Comment 11 of 13, posted at 09.05.08 13:10:45 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Edit

    ahahahahahaha. Didnt I take you there to watch a sharks game?
    eish those were desperate times!

  • Comment 14, posted at 09.05.08 13:26:00 by VinChainSaw Reply
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    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • He’s one of keo’s scribes rob.

    Also writes for SA Rugby, which is probably expected as mark edits that rag and its produced by highbury monarch.

  • Comment 15, posted at 09.05.08 13:28:28 by VinChainSaw Reply
    Author
    VinChainSawTeam captain
     
  • All this nonsense about Steyn????

    You know, as the “Old Lady” of this site, I would like to say that I have always been against taking extremely good youngsters out of their age group and turning them into mediorce players at senior level…this goes for ALL sports.
    I think this is what has happened to young Steyn & I blame the coaches etc. If he can get away from SA, be given a chance to grow in the sport, without the SA fans extremely high expectations, maybe he will get his confidence back and become the great player he has the potential to be.

    Now u can all shoot me down inflames :grin:

  • Comment 16, posted at 09.05.08 13:45:56 by Me2 Reply

    Me2 aka Mama SharkCurrie Cup player
     
  • Vinnie – you did indeed.

    I went back the following week for the final… that was the BIG mistake.

    You can take the bonehead out of Pretoria, as they say…

  • Comment 17, posted at 09.05.08 13:58:11 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • Classic headline.

  • Comment 18, posted at 09.05.08 14:12:31 by billy Reply

    billyVodacom Cup player
     
  • why thank you ;)

  • Comment 19, posted at 09.05.08 14:17:22 by robdylan (Sharks Forever!) Reply
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  • bath have barkley at 12. he is being tipped as the England 12 for their tour. Why would they want Steyn?

    Playing Steyn ahead of Barkley would cause more headaches in the RFU than good.

    But a Steyn / James midfield will be killer!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Comment 20, posted at 10.05.08 07:22:14 by KSA Shark © Reply

    KSA Shark ©Head Coach
     

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