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Bulls and Springbok legend Steyn reveals what lead to shock defection to Lions

BY Philip Bendon  ·  Wednesday Aug 30, 2023

Few players in professional rugby have had more iconic moments than former Bulls and Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn.

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Whether it was sinking the British and Irish Lions with a last-gasp penalty to secure the series in 2009 or winning Super Rugby titles, it is safe to say Steyn has pretty much done it all in his twenty-year professional career.

Now 39-years-old, Steyn has taken the next step in his rugby journey as he ventures into the world of coaching.

Renowned as a sharpshooter and one of the most accurate kickers in history, Steyn’s transition to the role as kicking coach was a logical entry point into the coaching profession.

Many felt that based on his long association with the Bulls franchise, he would slot into Jake White’s set-up with ease.

Yet, when it was announced that Steyn would not be joining the Bulls but would instead link up with their crosstown rivals, the Lions, eyebrows were raised.

Now speaking about the move, Steyn revealed that it was not for lack of trying on his behalf that he is no longer a member of the Bulls franchise.

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“It is actually a bit of a funny situation. I spoke to the Bulls, and I was supposed to start (coaching) the juniors in August because the senior team didn’t want me as a kicking consultant or coach,” explained Steyn.

“Behind the scenes, I heard that Jake (White) doesn’t want me there anymore and that he has other plans. The Lions then approached me with this opportunity, and I decided to take it.”

Clearly not too concerned about where he is going to be coaching, Steyn is eager to get stuck in with his new team and is thankful for the opportunity.

“Just the other day, I was playing, so to get an opportunity like this so early in my coaching career is great, and it is an awesome time to join up with the Lions.”

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“I think it is a new thing there at the Bulls. They haven’t had a kicking coach since Vlok Cilliers left,” Steyn said.

“So maybe things will change in the next year or two, but at the moment, I don’t think he (White) wants a kicking consultant or coach there.

“Chris Rossouw is there. So he is doing a lot of the kicking game, and he helps out the guys there. At the moment, he (White) might not think it’s necessary for them to have a kicking coach, but in the years to come, we will see what happens.”
Speaking on why he decided to take on the role of kicking coach, Steyn highlighted his excitement at getting to work with players on a regular, hands-on basis.

“Being a consultant, I come in three times a week to work with the guys during pre-season and then two times a week during the playing season,” said Steyn.

“I will get the guys on the training field to put in the work every day and help them with new drills. I will also be working with some outside guys who aren’t normally kickers because sometimes you can’t just rely on the nine and 10 to do the kicking duties.

“Being a coach, you look deeper into the kicking game, and I think guys like Jacque Fourie and Ricardo Loubscher will be doing that. But I will definitely sit in with them and give my opinions and help where I can.

“I’ll definitely play a part in the whole kicking game. I have signed a two-year deal, so we will see how I can get more involved and how my role will change over that time.”

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