Morne set to keep flyhalf spot

2012-09-25 07:43

Pretoria - South Africa's under-fire flyhalf Morne Steyn could keep his place in the side to face Australia on Saturday in the Rugby Championship following injuries to Francois Steyn and Johan Goosen.

Morne Steyn missed 11 points with wayward kicks when South Africa lost 21-11 to the All Blacks in Dunedin on September 15 but his obvious replacement Goosen has a bruised heel.

The 20-year-old took part in some training in Pretoria on Monday, albeit barefoot.

Goosen's injury and the possibility that the Springboks will lose 53 caps worth of experience at inside centre if Francois Steyn cannot play could delay what seems an inevitable changing of the guard.

"You obviously want to give players a break when they are fatigued, but if I hadn't called Morne Steyn into the Test squad then he would play Currie Cup for the Bulls," coach Heyneke Meyer told journalists at Loftus Versfeld on Monday.

"The pressure won't go away for him, the Bulls are also under pressure. It's best to keep him involved with us, he's taken a lot of criticism but you're still working with a human being and I can see that he is himself again back at home.

"I'm not just going to throw Morne away, he just kicked badly and Johan is not 100 percent and I've been bringing him through slowly. If I bowed to public pressure, then I would change the team every week.

"You can't just throw a whole bunch of 20-year-olds in against the Wallabies and All Blacks, they'll be slaughtered, and I won't push anyone unless they are 100 percent ready," the coach added.

Francois Steyn injured his ankle and was on crutches as the squad practised but team doctor Craig Roberts said a decision on the 25-year-old World Cup winner's availability would be made on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Having drawn with Argentina and lost to Australia and New Zealand on the road in their last three matches, South Africa take on the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld in a last-ditch effort to stay in contention.

Meyer was confident his team could take the spoils against Australia despite a 26-19 defeat in Perth on September 8, after the Springboks failed to turn pressure into points.

"It will definitely be different playing Australia here compared to Perth, where we should have won," he said.

"In the past we've done well against them at home and I have a good feeling about this team, it's definitely developing, there's a great vibe."

HAVE YOUR SAY: Under-fire Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn is set keep his place in the team to face Australia following injuries to Francois Steyn and Johan Goosen. Is it time to give Morne another chance? Send your thoughts to Sport24.

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