Steyn takes break from Boks

Powerful utility back Frans Steyn is considering his international future after being granted a release from the South Africa squad for this month's home Tests against Wales and Scotland.

The Sharks player, who was part of the Springboks 2007 World Cup winning squad, asked to be released from the squad on Tuesday.

"The environment in the Springbok squad is fantastic and I would like to state categorically that my relationship with Heyneke Meyer, the rest of the management and my team-mates is very good," Steyn said.

Steyn, who is expected to take up a contract in Japan at the end of Super Rugby season, has been managing a chronic knee problem that had made him touch-and-go for the June internationals.

"I have spoken at length to Frans and we are happy to accede to his request," SARU chief executive Jurie Roux said.

"He has asked for some time to consider his international playing future and we must respect that.

"Let me make it clear that he has not retired from international rugby, but he has requested a break from it.

"This is not an ideal situation, but, in other instances, sudden player absences through injury are not uncommon and I'm sure Heyneke and the selectors will adapt to his unavailability.

"Frans is now out of the squad and team management will respect his wish for privacy by not speculating on his decision or his likely return."

The Springboks face Wales in Durban on Saturday, followed by a second game against Warren Gatland's side a week later in Nelspruit before tackling Scotland in Port Elizabeth on 28 June.

Watch South Africa take on Wales live from Growthpoint Kings Park from 3.30pm this Saturday on Sky Sports 1