Steyn embarks on Top 14 adventure
September 22, 2009
Springboks international Steyn is hoping to add to his 36 Test caps in the near future © Getty Images
Springbok Frans Steyn is hoping his lucrative move to Top 14 side Racing Metro does not signal the end of his international career.
The 22-year-old kicking phenomenon linked up with his new team-mates in Paris today having helped South Africa to only their third Tri-Nations title and first since 2004. But the former Sharks star's immediate international future is now in doubt due to the Springboks' strict policy of selecting only home-based players.
In an interview with L'Equpe, Steyn admitted he was well aware of the consequences of his move to Europe but insisted the offer was too good to pass up.
"I'm still young and all my life I've always wanted to sample new experiences," he explained. "When you always do the same things over and over in the same place, you get bored; you always stay in your comfort zone. It's because of that that I wanted something different, something to see how I will react.
"I would love to continue playing for the Springboks, that's for sure. But the decision is in the coaches' hands. They're not too keen on picking guys who play overseas, so we'll see. In the meantime, my priority is to perform well for Racing and if I can bring something to the club I'll be stoked."
Steyn could make his Top 14 bow this weekend against Montpellier and it is a challenge he would relish. "I feel quite fresh because during the last three Bok Test matches I only came off the bench. I feel like I've recovered well and I'm raring to go with Racing, as soon as possible."
The versatile Steyn featured at fullback in his three most recent international outings but has expressed his desire to feature at the heart of Racing's backline that also features the likes of All Blacks veteran Andrew Mehrtens and former Saracens winger Dan Scarbrough.
"The easiest would be to start at fullback because for the moment I don't know all the combinations or the calls," he said. "But as soon as I've started to master them I'd like to move to inside centre. That said, it's a little premature to start talking like that. I'll play wherever they ask me to play, it's not up to me to ask whatever I want.
"I don't want them to treat me any differently from the others. And I know that first of all I have to win the respect of the coaches and my team-mates. But I prefer being closer to the action. I love contact and as I am still quite young, my body is physically capable of recovering quite quickly."
Racing are currently one place off the bottom of the Top 14 table having notched just two wins in their opening seven matches.