Springbok utility back Frans Steyn could be on his way back to South Africa at the conclusion of his contract with French club Racing Metro, which expires at the end of June next year.
The 24-year-old hasn’t played for Racing yet this season following his shoulder injury that he sustained during the World Cup victory over Samoa.
Steyn’s agent, Gerrie Swart, confirmed to Volksblad that the versatile backline ace is considering coming home to resume his career on South African shores.
“We’re currently looking at options and there are possible shifts back to South Africa,” Swart explained.
Steyn’s last match for the French club was against Montpellier on May 28, 2011 – the semifinal of the 2010-11 Top 14 season – where he played at inside centre and kicked a penalty during his team’s 26-25 defeat.
“They (Racing) are busy rehabilitating him. He has already regained full use of his shoulder and doesn’t feel any pain. So things are at this stage developing better that what we initially expected,” said Swart.
Swart, who is currently in France discussing future plans with Steyn, didn’t reveal which South African sides have shown an interest in his client.
There will no doubt be number of side’s clamouring for Steyn’s signature, as he still has age on his side and is undeniably a match-winner.
The Sharks could be an option for Steyn, having played for the Durban side before his departure to France, where he was always a fan favourite at Kings Park.
The Sharks have had a weakness at centre in recent times, with Meyer Bosman struggling to find the form that made him a powerful weapon at the Cheetahs, Adi Jacobs’ contract has expired and has left the union and Stefan Terblanche has gone on loan to Ulster with no indication whether or not he will return to the Shark Tank.
Tim Whitehead has been signed from Western Province to fill a gap at centre, but there are still frailties there and Steyn could offer a major boost to the side.
It would be unlikely for him to be selected at fullback or flyhalf with Pat Lambie, Freddie Michalak, Louis Ludik, Riaan Viljoen and Jacques-Louis Potgieter already on the Sharks books.
The Stormers could also look to throw their hat in the ring for his signature, as their cup no longer overfloweth with centres.
Whitehead has moved to the Sharks, Jaque Fourie won’t be coming back from Japan and Johann Sadie has moved to the Bulls, so the resources are suddenly a little thin in the midfield.
The Stormers, like the Sharks, wouldn’t necessarily need Steyn elsewhere in the backline, as Gio Aplon and Joe Pietersen cover fullback, while Gary van Aswegen, Peter Grant and Demetri Catrakilis are the flyhalves.
The Bulls have enjoyed a recent shopping spree and might be willing to pull out the cheque book once more, although they have more than enough depth at centre currently and would probably want Steyn as a fullback.
Zane Kirchner and Jurgen Visser are currently competing for the fullback berth in Pretoria, but neither have been able to nail it down and convince the fans that they are the man for the job.
The Lions no longer have IT tycoon Robert Gumede and businessman Ivor Ichikowitz’s credit cards to pull in the high rollers, but their recent Currie Cup victory could help lure a big name like Steyn.
The Johannesburg side already have Butch James and Elton Jantjies as their flyhalves and Jaco Taute as the most exciting young fullback in the country, so again it would have to be at centre for Steyn.
The Lions centres Doppies la Grange and Alwyn Hollenbach have been in great form, while Waylon Murray and Lionel Mapoe are on the road to recovery, so there is no desperate need to go shopping.
The Cheetahs have the advantage of being in Bloemfontein where Steyn went to school, but don’t have the financial clout to compete with the high rollers.
The Cheetahs could use Steyn at fullback or centre if by some miracle they brought him to the Free State.