Meyer’s please to be back

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :In the news, Sharks, Super 14 on 5 Feb 2010 at 10:29
Tagged with : , , , , ,

Sharks flyhalf, Steve Meyer, is back in town after a lengthy stint of club rugby in France, and now, on a two year contract with The Sharks, admits to being excited about fulfilling a dream.

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25-year-old Meyer, who hails from KZN, is a former Kearsney College headboy who started his professional rugby career playing for the Wildebeest in 2003. He gained his first cap for The Sharks in 2006 against the Pumas in front of his home crowd at The Absa Stadium Durban, during that year’s Absa Currie Cup campaign but left for France soon afterwards.

Now, back in Durban with The Sharks, he admits that it’s a realisation of a goal he had.

“It was a long term dream, a wish, a goal of mine, to come back. I was always hoping I’d be back, that it was going to be a matter of time, but I did expect it a lot later in my career, so I’m really chuffed to be back.”

When he left, there were limited opportunities for flyhalves, Butch James was the incumbent at the time and he looks at that period of his career and subsequent move to France philosophically. “It was one of those times when maybe I got the chance I should have, and maybe I didn’t perform when I should have. Rugby is a fickle game, sometimes when you really need to perform, you don’t, and when you don’t have to, you do. In hindsight, it was the best thing that could have happened to me, I went over to France, I grew as a player, grew up as a person and I’m much better for the time I spent there, that’s for sure.”

During his three-and-a-half year stint with Perpignan, he enjoyed success with the club, explaining that, “I have some great highlights, in the first season there, I got a couple of Heinken Cup Man of the Match awards, we did well in that first season, finishing fourth, and although last year I was injured for some of the season, I did play a contributing role when we won the French Championship – that really was a highlight.”

Playing alongside the likes of Springbok Percy Montgomery and All Black Dan Carter at Perpignan could only have been a positive influence in his development; “we had some great players, it was a fantastic team and it was a wonderful experience for me.

“Looking back, the memories of playing games over there are always highlights – playing at Stade de France in front of 80 000 people, that was a highlight, playing Heineken Cup rugby too, but the people I met was also a highlight. The experience of being in a different country with a different language, I had to jump in feet first and see what happened.

“It was a learning curve for me and a maturing phase in my life.”

Conditions overseas were obviously different to what he can expect in the upcoming Vodacom Super 14, and he admits to a sense of enthusiastic anticipation ahead of the tournament. “I’m excited about it, to see the difference in intensity, I’m sure it’s a step up. Playing overseas, the weather plays a major role in the tempo of the game. Heineken Cup rugby is more forward-dominated, there is a lot of tactical kicking, so I’m really excited to see how I measure up in the challenge that lies ahead.”

He accepts that the underdog tag has been placed on The Sharks and even embraces it. “It suits us down to the ground. That’s exactly what you want – we have confidence in ourselves, in the coaching and management staff and know what depth we have. So it’s a matter of putting it all together and rather to finish strong. It’s not how you start, it’s more about how you finish, and if we are written off now, that suits us perfectly.

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