Frans Steyn: I was big-headed

2012-09-18 11:30
Cape Town – Versatile Springbok backline star Frans Steyn has admitted that he succumbed to an inflated ego before his lucrative stint in French rugby with Racing Metro.

The 25-year-old, now back on home soil with the Sharks, candidly told the latest (October) edition of SA Rugby magazine that he has come home with a new maturity and approach to life.

“Ja, it’s fair to say when I was younger I had become big-headed ... freakin’ hell, I’d won the World Cup in my second season as a pro, as a 20-year-old.

“Two years later I’d won everything I could with the Springboks. I was fussed over throughout my schoolboy career, then I played for the Boks after only a couple of Currie Cup games – it happened so quickly that I probably got swept away by it all.”

Steyn, who has settled back into Test duty under Heyneke Meyer’s new coaching regime in the No 12 jersey this season and also recently tied the marital knot, added: “I would like to have reacted differently to that early success. I think there is still a little of that in me but I’ve learned to channel that positively, into my play and not my off-field behaviour.

“I’m still a work in progress though.”

He said the relative anonymity afforded him when he went out in public in France had been beneficial.

“I could walk the streets of Paris and nobody would give a sh*t about me: I’d come from an environment in South Africa where a simple thing like going to a movie was difficult because of the attention I’d get.

“The constant attention at home probably helped give me an inflated opinion of myself. Being in Paris on my own for the most part gave me room to breathe, to find myself.

“I travelled to Venice, Seychelles, Canary Islands, Spain, Switzerland, Greece ... man, I went to a lot of places. I learned about the world and myself in the processs.

“That changed me as a person and I know when you’re content within yourself you’re a better player. I hope that shows.

“I wouldn’t have been the same person had I stayed in South Africa; I’m not sure I would have been over going out and partying – I could have been arrested for drunk driving, or worse, been involved in a serious accident.

“I’m speaking hypothetically, but my life, my outlook and attitude would probably have been very different had I stayed.”

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