Bok legend backs Steyn to make an impact

Jean de Villiers believes that Damian de Allende remains the first choice for inside centre at the Rugby World Cup, but backed Francois Steyn to make an impact.

De Villiers believes that at 32-years-old Steyn still has plenty to prove in the international game.

Steyn’s experience a vital part of Rugby World Cup recipe

Steyn is likely to be on the bench for the Springboks‘ ‘big’ games but should still get plenty of opportunities to change matches in Japan. De Villiers said that a player of Stey n’s experience and quality would add a lot to the Springbok group.

The former skipper highly rates Steyn’s ability to bring something different to each of the positions he can be deployed in.

“I think it is the one that they’ve settled on and I thought Damian had an outstanding game on the weekend (against Argentina in Salta),” De Villiers told News24.

“It’s maybe not traditional 12 skills that he showed, but the ability to steal ball, create turnovers and be really strong in that channel is important to the team as well.

“Having Frans Steyn there will add value, whether he is starting or coming off the bench,” De Villiers said.

“He’s still relatively young. He has the fire to still go out and prove people wrong and show what he’s got. We all know that he’s got a lot of talent and brings a different dynamic to whatever position he plays.

“He brings that experience, so the depth we have and the combinations that have been tested put this team in a really good position.”

Steyn was the youngest member of the 2007 World Cup-winning squad and could be in line to emulate Os du Randt by earning two winners medals. He was just 20-years-old when he played in the 2007 final against England making him the youngest-ever Rugby World Cup winner. He missed out on the 2015 World Cup in New Zealand but looks well-placed to be selected for the trip to Japan.

The versatile back has been plying his trade in France with Montpellier since 2016 but also enjoyed a stint in Japan with Toshiba Brave Lupus.

Steyn will start Saturday’s Test match against Argentina in Pretoria on the bench.

Steyn best as an inside centre

Ahead of the Rugby Championship Bok head coach, Rassie Erasmus, said he felt that Steyn was best used as an inside centre. Erasmus used Steyn off the bench in that position in all three Rugby Championship matches and he has acquitted himself well enough.

Steyn can also play at flyhalf or fullback and has been capped in both positions.

The Springboks Test against Argentina will be their last before the 2019 Rugby World Cup.


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Publish date : 2019-08-15 17:43:29

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