De Villiers plans to end release sagas
August 23, 2010
Frans Steyn has joined the Springbok camp © Getty Images
Springbok coach Peter De Villiers intends to meet with Racing Metro, Bath and Ulster officials following the Tri-Nations in order to ensure no repeat of the protracted Frans Steyn release saga.
The Racing fullback linked up with the South Africa squad in Pretoria on Monday prior to their meeting with Australia, having been the subject of yet another club v country misunderstanding in recent weeks.
He was ruled out of last weekend's meeting with the All Blacks after confusion over an injury, but played 80 minutes for his club as they lost to Montpellier on Friday night.
Bath's Butch James was also involved in a spat in June, when he was barred from playing in the Springboks' one-off Test against Wales by Premier Rugby because of release issues.
"After the Tri-Nations myself and Andy [Marinos, national team manager] will travel to Europe to sit down with Racing Metro and Frans and discuss the way forward. We also plan to meet with Butch James' club [Bath] and BJ Botha's club [Ulster] to make sure that all parties are on the same page when it comes to the release of players for international duty," De Villiers said. "We have to get our ducks in a row to avoid causing disruptions to both the team and the players."
De Villiers has dismissed the issue with Racing as a matter of 'miscommunication' but has suggested that Steyn will struggle to knock Gio Aplon out of the starting side this weekend.
"It is great to have Frans here and he is a great addition to our squad but we have a player in the position who did not do badly last weekend," he said. "We will sit and look at what will be best for the team this weekend and make it known when we confirm our team on Tuesday."
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