Full name Francois Philippus Lodewyk Steyn
Also known as Frans Steyn
Born May 14, 1987, Aliwal North
Current age 29 years 250 days
Major teams Barbarians, Montpellier, Racing Metro, Sharks, South Africa
Position Centre, Fly-half
Height 6 ft 3 in
Weight 220 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2007-2011||11||9||2||38||4||0||6||0||11||0||0||100.00|
|The Rugby Championship||2007-2012||20||12||8||51||2||1||11||2||9||10||1||47.50|
|Test debut||Ireland v South Africa at Lansdowne Road, Nov 11, 2006 match details|
|Last Test||New Zealand v South Africa at Dunedin, Sep 15, 2012 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
Francois Steyn is a South African utility back who holds the record for being the youngest player to win a World Cup after helping the Springboks beat England in the 2007 final in France.
He started his career with the Sharks but is now plying his trade in France with Racing Métro 92, having made the switch to Paris after the British & Irish Lions tour in 2009. He is notorious for his long-distance kicking ability and in a 2009 Super 14 match against the Brumbies he kicked the ball 100m.
After only a handful of games for the Sharks, Steyn impressed the South African coach Jake White and he earned a call-up at only 19 years of age to the Springboks squad to tour Ireland and England. He made a try-scoring debut against the Irish at Lansdowne Road on the wing and after only nine Test caps he had already played at fullback, fly-half, centre and wing.
Having impressed in the Tri-Nations in 2007 with a match-winning dropped-goal against Australia in the opening game, Steyn was selected for the World Cup squad later in the year. He started the tournament on the bench but came on as a replacement for the injured Jean de Villiers in the first game against Samoa and made the inside centre position his own for the rest of the tournament, as de Villiers went home with a torn bicep.
He was involved in controversy later in the tournament in the Springboks' physical pool stage encounter with Tonga when he and opposition wing Joseph Vaka were sin-binned. Steyn was alleged to have bitten the Pacific Islander but the Tongans could not provide sufficient evidence to prove Steyn's guilt and he was allowed to play for the remainder of the tournament. Steyn kicked four penalties and scored one try in the competition as South Africa went on to beat England 15-6 in the final in Paris at the Stade de France.
In 2008 he was selected in the World Team of the Year by Laureus but only made two starting appearances for the Springboks. The following year he was given the opportunity to play against the British & Irish Lions at fullback and he kicked a penalty in each of the first two Tests as the Springboks won both matches to take the series. He came on as replacement at centre in the third Test as the Lions bagged a consolation victory.
Steyn was dropped from the squad in the summer of 2010 after an alleged falling out with Springbok boss Peter de Villiers only to be recalled after the side had lost their opening three games in the Tri-Nations.
Following an impressive start to the 2010-11 season with Racing Metro, Steyn was called up to the Boks squad for the autumn internationals. De villiers opted to start the versatile back in the centre berth.
Towards the end of the season Steyn was struggling with injuries and was part of the "Rustenberg 21" - a group of players who sat out the away leg of the Tri-Nations tour for the Boks.
He was recalled to the starting XV for the clash with Australia on August 13 and played 50 minutes before being replaced by Gio Aplon. However, in the aftermath of the game, it was announced that Steyn had suffered a hamstring injury and would sit out their Test with the All Blacks on August 20.
He recovered in time for the World Cup but then disaster struck as he suffered a shoulder injury in the Boks' final pool game, against Samoa, and was subsequently ruled out of the remainder of the tournament.
Steyn returned to Racing Metro for the 2011-12 season and played a key role in their campaign. But in April 2012, Steyn announced that he would depart the Parisian side at the end of the campaign to return to South Africa.