Springbok star Frans Steyn has not given hope of continuing to represent his country despite his recent move overseas.
Steyn, who featured in all three of South Africa’s Tests against the Lions earlier this summer, arrived in France late last week after joining Top 14 side Racing Metro.
Although, unlike the All Blacks, the Springboks do not employ an official policy of refusing to pick foreign-based players, head coach Peter de Villiers has made it clear that his preference will always be to select players plying their trade in South Africa.
But the 22-year-old utility back is hopeful that he still has a future in international rugby having admitted that the chance to experience a new challenge on the European circuit was one he could not let pass him by.
"I would love to continue playing for the Springboks, that’s for sure,” said Steyn, who made his international debut against Ireland in 2006 and was the youngest member of the Boks’ World Cup winning squad a year later.
”But the decision is in the coaches’ hands. They’re not too keen on picking guys who play overseas, so we’ll see.
"But I’m still young and all my life I’ve always wanted to sample new experiences. When you always do the same things over and over in the same place, you get bored, you always stay in your comfort zone.
”It’s because of that that I wanted something different, something to see how I will react."
And, despite still coming to terms with his new surroundings ahead of Saturday’s clash with Montpellier, the former Sharks prodigy has been impressed with what he has seen since his arrival in France.
Steyn has had no difficulty fitting in to his new environment, even though he admits a few nerves were present when he first arrived at training.
"It was like going back to school for the first time," added Steyn.
"At the start I was a bit nervous but after meeting the guys they quickly put me at ease. Everyone’s very laid back, the atmosphere was relaxed and I think I’ll be able to adapt easily.
"When I was here for the World Cup I really enjoyed myself in France and that made me want to come back. I chose Racing because I needed a new challenge.
“My priority is to perform well for Racing and if I can bring something to the club I’ll be stoked.
"I feel quite fresh because during the last three Bok Test matches I only came off the bench. I feel like I’ve recovered well and I’m raring to go with Racing, as soon as possible."