Is Frans Steyn running out of time?
Two-time World Cup winner Frans Steyn remains ‘medically unfit’ and unavailable for Springbok selection.
This was revealed by Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber at a media briefing ahead of a training camp in Durban.
Steyn was a notable absentee from the 33-man squad for a training camp in Durban – a collection announced at the weekend.
The 36-year-old Steyn continued his ‘race against time’ to recover from a knee injury and be fit for the World Cup in September and October.
Nienaber told @rugby365com that they have been in ‘conversation’ with the Cheetahs’ medical team – who is managing Steyn’s rehabilitation..
“If he gets medically fit we’ll consider him,” he said, adding: “He is currently not eligible.”
Steyn has been ruled out of the remainder of the Currie Cup season, after he sustained the injury in the Cheetahs’ 32-7 Currie Cup win over the Bulls in Bloemfontein in March.
Cheetahs coach Hawies Fourie, at the time, told @rugby365com that the knee injury is set to keep the two-time World Cup winner on the sidelines for two to three months.
With the World Cup scheduled in France on September 8, it leaves the Bloemfontein-based star very little time to prove his fitness once he has completed his rehabilitation.
The 36-year-old, who played vital roles for the Boks in the 2007 and 2019 World Cup victories, has made no secret of his desire to travel to France with the defending champions in September and October.
He became just the second South African player to win the World Cup twice, following Springbok great Pieter du Randt.
Like Du Randt, Steyn won his two tournaments 12 years apart, first lifting the Webb Ellis Cup in 2007 as a 20-year-old.
Steyn is also aiming to make a record fourth World Cup appearance for the Springboks.
(Article continues below the Jacques Nienaber interview …)
* Also absent from the squad for this week’s training camp is Stormers lock Salmaan Moerat, who has not played since suffering a knee ligament injury during a European Cup match in December.
Director of Rugby Johan Erasmus said that even if Moerat recovers in time for the World Cup, the promising lock could miss out due to a lack of Test experience.
* Meanwhile, Erasmus, said he is not ruling out anybody who is currently not in the training squad or the periphery of the national team.
This includes Dillyn Leyds, one of the standout players for European champions Stade Rochelais.
He said they have been watching every game players like Leyds played the last two years, but pointed out that the Boks have the likes of Makazole Mapimpi, Cheslin Kolbe, Kurt-Lee Arendse and Canan Moodie in their squad.
“I’m definitely not ruling out any of those guys, but we also have guys that are settled [in the squad].
“What those guys have done for us at Test-level can’t be forgotten.”