So information – facts, rumorus, whispers, call them what you like – is starting to filter thrugh and it seems pretty clear that Frans Steyn is pissed off with SARU over one major reason. Money. Filthy lucre. His daily crust.
All of this talk about his knee is a convenient sideshow. Yes, Frans has a chronic condition that needs to be managed but as a senior player who delivers on the field, he has enough capital banked with the majority of coaches to allow him the necessary training ground leeway to manage that problem. I, for one, don’t buy the argument that a test or two against Wales would be likely to tip his knee condition over the edge.
No, the issue here appears to be a “promise” made to Steyn when he opted to return to South Africa from France – one that led him to believe that SARU (together with the Sharks) would do as much as they could to ensure parity with his massive French earnings. Whatever that commitment was, it hasn’t materialised leaving Steyn apparently playing for roughly half of what he was earning in France.
Here’s a news flash for you – employees don’t appreciate pay cuts and they don’t appreciate being let down when they feel they’ve reached a particular agreement about pay. Pride in the jersey and all that sentiment went out the window when you turned rugby into a professional game and started forcing young men to commit themselves to a 10-year career in which they simply have to set themselves up for life.
The question, though, that really begs answering is this: why did Frans have to return at all? I need both hands and at least one foot to count all the players to whom Heyneke Meyer hands out test caps without any requirement that they play locally – or in fact even be in any sort of form for their foreign clubs. Johan Goosen, a case in point, is leaving these shores for the very French club that Frans Steyn used to play for. I’ve got a few quid here saying that he’ll continue to be picked for the Boks while playing for Racing Metro – an offer or opportunity that was denied Frans Steyn.
It’s time to pick a position and stick to it. Either pick Boks from wherever they happen to play and accept the consequences of that – or impose a blanket ban on non-SA-based players being picked for tests. The way things work at the moment leaves far too much scope for unhappiness, double standards and MASSIVE disparity in what players in the same team put into their pockets at the end of the month.Tweet