Johannesburg – The SA Rugby Union (Saru) has denied reports that it had reneged on a contractual promise made to Springbok fullback Frans Steyn which led to his sudden withdrawal from the national squad on Tuesday evening.
“I can confirm that there was a dispute over mechanisms by which one element of Frans’ Springbok remuneration was to be paid,” Saru chief executive Jurie Roux said in a statement on Thursday.
“That issue was addressed. Some minor details remain to be sorted out, but they are not of such a scale as to be a cause for a major upheaval.”
Beeld reported on Thursday that the player's father, Piet Steyn, told the newspaper that Saru did not adhere to an agreement that was made prior to him leaving French club Racing Metro in 2012.
“We have an agreement with players in respect of the rights of both employer and employee not to publicly discuss any contractual situation and I will not breach that,” Roux said.
“However, allegations have been made that affect the reputation of the South African Rugby Union and Frans Steyn, as an employee and person, and they cannot go unchallenged.”
On Tuesday, Saru said in a statement that Steyn was released from the Springbok squad at his own request and he did not wish to be considered for the Incoming Series which kicks off this weekend against Wales in Durban.
Steyn is expected to take up a contract in Japan at the end of the Super Rugby campaign and would be available for the Sharks once the June internationals were completed.
“Out of respect for Frans’ wishes, whatever other considerations may have been on his mind are not for me to discuss,” Roux said.
“I look forward to his return to playing in the near future in Vodacom Super Rugby as he has been a good servant to the Springboks and his franchise.” – Sapa