South African Rugby
Steyn lashes out at De Villiers
September 24, 2010
Racing Metro's Frans Steyn has hit out at South Africa head coach Peter de Villiers © Getty Images
Francois Steyn has again highlighted his difficult relationship with Peter De Villiers, accusing the Springbok coach of a lack of respect for allegedly cancelling a scheduled meeting with him.
Steyn is currently playing his club rugby in France with Racing Metro but he was recalled to the South Africa starting line-up for recent Tri-Nations clashes with Australia. However, it was reported that his relationship with De Villiers remained strained and he has now admitted that he has 'moved on'.
"He was supposed to come to Paris on September 18. He cancelled the meeting. It's not the first time he has done that. It's a lack of respect for Racing Metro, a lack of respect for me," Steyn told French rugby paper Midi Olympique. "I don't expect anything from the Springboks anymore. I have moved on."
Indeed, Steyn, who was an integral member of the Springbok side which lifted the World Cup in France three years ago, seemed nonplussed at the prospect of a second bite at the cherry in New Zealand next year.
"It is to soon to say that I will not be there. But it is certain that I will accept Racing's decision. You play the World Cup to face the best players in the world," he said. "Here in the Top 14, I play against [Yannick] Jauzion. And I will also play the Heineken Cup and face [Brian] O'Driscoll, so it's about the same."
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) responded to Steyn's outburst with a statement confirming that the planned visits, with Butch James at Bath and BJ Botha at Ulster also set to meet the Springbok boss and national teams manager Andy Marinos, were timed to coincide with an IRB conference.
The clubs were informed that when the conference was cancelled the planned visits were also shelved.
"Following the cancellation of the IRB Conference, all three clubs were advised that the visits would be postponed," the statement read. "Ulster and Bath acknowledged the advice, Racing Metro did not. Several Racing personnel - including coach Pierre Berbizier - were included in the advisory email.
"SARU did not contact any of the three players directly as the appropriate protocol is to communicate through a player's club."
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