PARIS (AFP) –
South African World Cup winnner Francois Steyn re-signed for his former Super 15 side Sharks on Tuesday ending a three-year spell at Top 14 outfit Racing-Metro.
The 25-year-old – capped 47 times and outstanding in the 2007 World Cup-winning campaign – signed a three-year contract with the Durban-based side and will officially join from July 1.
“I am pleased that we are able to assist SARFU in bringing back international star players such as Steyn and have him back playing rugby at Kings Park,” said Rudolf Straeuli, the Sharks rugby commercial manager.
Sharks coach John Plumtree said Steyn had a lot to offer.
“It is great to have him back with us as we did miss him,” Plumtree said. “He was definitely an influential player when he left and he will again be that, so it is fantastic to have him with the Sharks.”
Racing-Metro’s president and major shareholder Jacky Lorenzetti had said recently he expected the multi-purpose back – who is renowned for his long-range penalties – to leave.
“South Africa made him an offer he couldn’t really refuse: either you return and you can play for the national side, or you stay in France and you will not play for the Boks any more,” said the Swiss-born France-based property mogul.
“We can understand him. But he is not leaving because of the so-called problems at Racing, ie he hasn’t left for Stade Francais or Toulouse.”
Steyn’s final match with Racing came in last Saturday’s 17-13 Top 14 title play-off loss to Toulon where they let slip a 13-0 lead.
Racing have been bedevilled by internal disputes throughout the season beginning with the abrupt departure of popular backs coach Simon Mannix and disquiet over the managing of the club by former France and Italy coach Pierre Berbizier.