SARU responds to Steyn claims

2010-09-25 14:35
Frans Steyn (File)
Johannesburg - The saga surrounding Springbok coach Peter de Villiers and fullback Francois Steyn, took another turn on Saturday when the South African Rugby Union came out in defence of the embattled coach.

In a statement explaining De Villiers's non appearance for a meeting with Steyn and his French club Racing Metro, SARU say the club was informed the meeting was to be postponed.

The statement says De Villiers and Andy Marinos, the national teams manager, were to visit three European-based rugby clubs during September.

"The visits were scheduled to coincide with an IRB conference, which both De Villiers and Marinos were to attend.

"Visits were also planned to Bath (England), Ulster (Northern Ireland) and Racing Metro (France). The visit to Paris was planned for Wednesday and Thursday, September 29-30 .

"Following the cancellation of the IRB conference, all three clubs were advised the visits would be postponed. Ulster and Bath acknowledged the advice, Racing Metro did not. Several Racing personnel - including coach Pierre Berbizier - were included in the advisory email.

"SARU did not contact any of the players directly as the appropriate protocol is to communicate through a player's club," the statement concluded.

The statement did not say if meetings would be rescheduled

This follows a report during the week in which Racing-Metro's Springbok fullback, Francois Steyn, said he's prepared not to take part in next year's Rugby World Cup because of the lack of respect shown to both him and his club.

"Peter de Villiers was due to come to Paris on September 18," Steyn told Midi Olympique newspaper.

"He cancelled the meeting. It's not the first time he's done that. It's a lack of respect for Racing and a lack of respect for me."

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