Steyn happy to be playing again

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iol spt mar4 Sharks-Lions Gallo Images Sharks centre Francois Steyn is delighted to be back playing regularly again after a testing 20 months since his move to Durban. Photo by: Duif du Toit/Gallo Images

Durban – Sharks centre Francois Steyn is delighted to be back playing regularly again after a testing 20 months since his move to Durban.

The 2007 Springbok World Cup-winner has started both matches of the 2014 Super Rugby season after being given the full backing of new director of rugby Jake White.

“I think there's a lot of excitement for me because there was some stuff said over the last couple of years,” Steyn said.

“Everybody wants to prove people wrong and I'm a fighter.

“I try to do my best every time I get onto the field but I'm just glad to be here, without injuries and everything's going well.”

The utility back was criticised for his mobility and loss of pace after returning from a three-year spell in France in the middle of 2012.

He was briefly handed the captaincy by the Sharks during last season, before injury disrupted his campaign.

“When you have had lot of injuries, just to run freely again is fun and when you have no niggles you get into form much quicker,” he said.

“I am feeling very good about my game after struggling so much last year and it's just good to be on the field and getting back into some form.”

Steyn, a junior World Cup winner with the Baby Boks back in 2005, was given his senior South Africa chance by White in 2006, before forming a key part of their 2007 success in France.

He was delighted with the opportunity to work with White again.

“Jake was the one who gave me a chance at the Boks, so I will always be thankful to him,” the 26-year-old said.

“Everybody knows him (White), he has everything behind his name.

“He went through under-21s, he won the World Cup, he went to a poor Brumbies side and took them to the final last year, so nobody can question his pedigree.

“He's done well and we've been winning, so I think all of us are looking forward to doing well under him. I am just blessed now to be at a place where the coach understands me and I'm enjoying it.”

The coastal side won their two opening matches of the season, before having a bye last weekend. They resume their campaign against the Lions in Durban on Saturday. - Sapa

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