Frans to front Wales

Peter de Villiers and Frans Steyn have resolved their differences with the latter agreeing to play Wales on 5 June.

The Springbok coach and Steyn met in Johannesburg on Friday to discuss the issues around his selection. It was reported last weekend that Steyn had refused to play in the season opener, and that the relationship between player and coach was non existent.

De Villiers, however, spoke to this website on Thursday about the communication breakdown between himself and Steyn. De Villiers blamed agent Gerrie Swart for turning Steyn against him, and lamented the lack of communication between himself and the player. He told an emergency meeting would take place on Friday in an attempt at reconciliation.

Friday’s meeting included Springbok convenor of selectors Peter Jooste and Swart. The outcome was positive and the Racing Metro player will start at fullback in Cardiff.

‘We discussed our relationship over the past few months and certain concerns of Frans were addressed and resolved,’ said De Villiers. ‘Frans confirmed his loyalty and commitment to the Springboks and people of South Africa and I can’t wait to see him back in green and gold.’

Steyn told SA Rugby magazine in January he wanted to play in the 2011 World Cup, but that the Bok coach’s foreign policy would probably prevent that dream from becoming a reality. De Villiers has said on numerous occasions that he prefers to pick locally-based players.

But following Friday’s meeting, it would seem Steyn could be in the 2011 picture.

De Villiers apologised for statements in the media that depicted Steyn or Swart in a bad light, and the apology was accepted by those concerned. According to a statement released by Saru, the matter is considered closed.