At 27 years of age, Frans Steyn's tally of 53 international caps may well be higher were it not for a select few disagreements with the South African Rugby Union down the years.
And old wounds have been reopened, it seems, after the Sharks utility controversially left the Springboks' camp earlier this summer during the Test series against Wales, per BBC Sport.
Steyn left Racing Metro in 2012 in order to come back to his former stomping grounds in Natal, but his father, Piet Steyn, spoke with Die Burger (h/t SA Rugby) in the days following his exit to explain the reasoning behind his son's decision:
If it was only about money, then Frans would never have returned from France to play in South Africa. He is in top form and is playing some of his best rugby. He has matured and makes thoughtful decisions.
Steyn is set to join Japanese rugby later this year, seemingly with the notion that it would not affect his chances in the South African team. The SARU released a statement in reply to Steyn:
We have an agreement with players in respect of the rights of both employer and employee not to publicly discuss any contractual situation and I will not breach that. However, allegations have been made that affect the reputation of the South African Rugby Union and Frans Steyn as an employee and person and they cannot go unchallenged.
It is alleged that Saru breached a promise to Frans in terms of his contract. I can confirm that there was a dispute over mechanisms by which one element of Frans’s Springbok remuneration was to be paid. That issue was addressed. Some minor details remain to be sorted out, but they are not of such a scale as to be a cause for a major upheaval.
Out of respect for Frans’s wishes, whatever other considerations may have been on his mind are not for me to discuss.
Money is once again proving to turn the relationship between player and federation sour, with Steyn potentially on the brink of another international exodus.
While his time in Japan may put any Springboks playing time at risk, there isn't any clear idea just yet regarding his Rugby World Cup prospects.