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Steyn not taking return for granted

Francois Steyn insists he will do all his talking on the field as he looks to secure a place in South Africa's squad for next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

The 23-year-old has been named at outside centre in Peter de Villiers' starting line-up to face Wales at the Millennium Stadium. The former Sharks' back's rapid return comes just a couple of months after he criticised De Villiers for cancelling a meeting with him in Paris, saying he no longer expected anything from the Springboks' management.

When asked what had changed for him to be included, he said: "I don't know. I think the main thing for me is I don't want to be the middle man, because that's what happened."

He added: "Because it was said I didn't want to play and when I got a bit angry and said something I got hammered and no-one else, so I don't want to be in the papers.

"It's tough for rugby players to play rugby with guys breaking off so that is not what we want to do and I don't want to be the main focus."

But Steyn, a World Cup winner in 2007, is excited about the prospect of pulling on the green and gold jersey in Cardiff and, although he is philosophical about his chances of going to New Zealand next September, attempt to lay down a marker for World Cup selection.

"The first Test or your 40th test will always be the same, you are still privileged," he said.

"When you leave South Africa people forget about you quickly so if you get to wear the jersey you must make it count. I am not the youngest in the team anymore, times change and the jersey is never safe for one guy.

"Of course I want to go to the World Cup, but If I don't go it's not the end of the world. I know the coaches and the guys are for the Springboks and they need to win the cup. I will try my best but life does not always go as you want it, I am sure the coaches know what they want.


From Belfast Telegraph