Double World Cup winner Frans Steyn returns to Bloemfontein roots

It is a return to his roots for the 32-year-old, who was part of South Africa’s World Cup-winning teams in 2007 and 2019 but has never played for a Free State outfit since leaving school in Bloemfontein.

FILE: In this file photo taken on 2 March 2019, Montpellier's South African center Francois Steyn (C) runs with the ball during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Montpellier and Bordeaux-Begles at the GGL stadium in Montpellier, southern France. Picture: AFP

BLOEMFONTEIN - Double World Cup winner Frans Steyn is moving home to South Africa to play for the Free State Cheetahs, the Bloemfontein-based team announced on Monday.

It is a return to his roots for the 32-year-old, who was part of South Africa’s World Cup-winning teams in 2007 and 2019 but has never played for a Free State outfit since leaving school in Bloemfontein.

Steyn signed a two-year contract after four seasons at Montpellier in France. He moves on 1 July, the Cheetahs said in a statement.

His previous teams include the Sharks in Super Rugby; Racing Metro in France and Toshiba Brave Lupus in Japan.

Steyn has won 67 caps since his Springbok debut while still a teenager.

The Cheetahs, who were dropped from Super Rugby three years ago, play in the PRO-14 competition, suspended since last month because of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Further to the signing of Frans Steyn, the majority of the players will remain with the Cheetahs for the following season,” a club statement added.