Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and World Cup-winning utility back Frans Steyn WILL meet in Johannesburg on Friday to thrash out the player’s future. That is the truth.
rugby365.com can reveal that the reported fall-out between the Bok coach and the talented young French-based star has been laid at the door of Steyn’s agent, Gerrie Swart.
De Villiers, fed up with trying to get hold of Steyn via his agent, will not make any calls on his team to meet Wales in Cardiff on June 5 until he has had the opportunity to meet with Steyn, face-to-face.
And that meeting, according to De Villiers’s Media Manager Anthony Mackaiser, will take place on Friday.
There has been plenty of media speculation and conjecture surrounding Steyn’s Bok future, despite the Racing Metro star being named at fullback for the Welsh Test.
The matter was further clouded on Thursday when South African Rugby Union President Oregan Hoskins – speaking on Eye Witness News – denied that there was a rift between De Villiers and Steyn.
However, Mackaiser confirmed that De Villiers’s main gripe was with Steyn’s agent who has insisted on acting as a middle man – thereby making his player virtually “uncontactable”.
“Nothing will be confirmed and no replacements will be named until Peter de Villiers has spoken to Frans Steyn,” Mackaiser told rugby365.com on Thursday.
The Bok Media Manager confirmed that the two, De Villiers and Steyn, would be meeting up on Friday – having, up until now, communicated through Swart (Steyn’s agent). (De Villiers has, on record, expressed his disappointment at the behaviour of the player’s agent.)
De Villiers has not spoken to Steyn since he left for France after the 2009 Tri-Nations. The Bok boss confirmed that he received an SMS from the player earlier this week, but this SMS made no reference to Steyn’s availability, or lack thereof. The player simply indicated that he wanted to talk to the Bok coach.
Understandably, now, De Villiers is upset that he has had to chase the player – something that he does not even have to do to high-profile veterans like captain John Smit and vice-captain Victor Matfield.
“I coach players, not agents; the players are the ones I want to talk to,” De Villiers told the Sunday Tribune. “I have no time for this nonsense.”
Meanwhile, another of Swart’s players, Bok and Sharks utility Ruan Pienaar, has officially put pen to paper with Irish Province, Ulster – where he will join Bok lock Johann Muller and prop BJ Botha.
Pienaar, who has been named at flyhalf for next month’s Test against Wales, now also faces an uncertain Bok future.
“I am picking up a common thread – players want me to pick them when they are based overseas. It is not going to happen. I won’t dish out preferential treatment. It is not fair on the guys that remain here,” De Villiers told the Sunday Tribune.
Article Courtesy of Jan De Koning at Rugby 365.Tweet