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Steyn linked to Japanese sabbatical

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks, Springboks, Super Rugby on 6 May 2014 at 10:40
Tagged with : , , , , , , , , ,

While it’s yet to be confirmed by either the Sharks or any specific club side over there, it’s looking increasingly likely that Frans Steyn will play out the 2014 season in Japan once Super Rugby has run its course for the year.

Steyn has apparently secured a grudging blessing from his SARU paymasters to take up a short-term Japanese deal, one which will limit his availability for the Rugby Championship and Currie Cup, but will see him return to the Sharks for Super Rugby in 2015 – hopefully in time to gain selection for the Springboks at next year’s World Cup.

Unlike the deals recently concluded by Keegan Daniel and Jean Deysel, Steyn’s trip to Japan will be a temporary one and will have little real impact on the Sharks, since it’s assumed as a Bok certainty, he would have been unavailable for Currie Cup duty in any event. That said, with both Ryan Kankowski and JP Pietersen battling to shake off their post-Japanese largess (with Super Rugby a good few steps up in terms of intensity) adding a third key player to the group that will miss the pre-season entirely cannot be a good thing for the Durban franchise.

You can understand Steyn’s position, though. The money on offer is, I’m sure, simply staggering and with SARU’s position on foreign-based players as fluid as it currently seems to be, it seems rather silly for any top player to not strike while the proverbial iron is glowing.


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