Rugby World Cup 2011

Fittest team will win the RWC

2011-09-19 12:29
Frans Steyn scoring against Fiji (Getty Images)

Cape Town - In the wake of the Springboks scintillating performance against Fiji, Bok utility back, Francois Steyn has blasted critics for calling the team "too old".

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“How can we be too old? We played a big game tonight and Danie Rossouw as Man of the Match and he is 33. It is not about age, it is about how fit you are. The fittest team will win the World Cup,” he told Monday’s Cape Times.

He proved to be a handful for the islanders and set up numerous opportunities for the backline to flourish and show their critics that they can indeed run the ball and ‘play rugby’.

Steyn, who plays at centre for his club side, Racing Metro, admitted that he almost forgot how intense playing at 12 is at Test level after last playing in that role for the Boks in 2007.

“It was good to be back in my old position, but Jean (de Villiers) will recover and we will have to see what happens. I had forgotten how much more in the action at 12.

"It was a pleasant surprise. I’m not sure if I am a centre or a fullback. I see I am listed everywhere as a utility back, so I guess that is what I am, whatever it means!”

With Steyn moving to fill De Villiers’ place, it meant that Patrick Lambie made his RWC debut for the Boks at fullback and received his fair bit of praise from the man he was replacing.

“I am backing Patrick, not only because I was once where he is now (Steyn was also 20 in his first RWC in 2007), but because I think he is a brilliant player. In the change-room I congratulated him on a very good performance. I though he was excellent in how he kept the ball secure when we went wide.

“And he can tackle! For his small body, he makes some cracking tackles. He flipping kills some of the big okes. No, listen, I love Patrick Lambie.”

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