Rugby World Cup 2011

Steyn feeling the heat

2011-09-09 11:28
Morne Steyn (Gallo)

Wellington - Having recently re-established himself as South Africa's premier flyhalf, Morne Steyn admitted on Friday he was feeling the heat from some rising stars.

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GALLERY: Boks build towards Wales match

"Pat Lambie is still 20-years-old and has a couple of years to go," Steyn said on Friday.

"At home, there is Elton Jantjies as well. So there are a couple of guys who are coming through and playing well and I just have to keep on working hard."

Needing only two points in Sunday's Rugby World Cup opening match against Wales to reach 350 Test points in 30 appearances, Steyn said his role would be made slightly tougher by the windy conditions in Wellington, but he was up for the challenge.

"The wind is quite hectic now and we are training there on top of the mountain, so it is quite difficult. But in the stadium it won't be that difficult."

Steyn said the Springboks would not adjust their approach after Wales selected 24-year-old Rhys Priestland at flyhalf, with the experienced Stephen Jones failing a late fitness Test.

The Welsh selectors could have opted to start James Hook at flyhalf, but he was instead deployed at fullback.

"It won't change our game plan. We play almost the same every game," Steyn said.

Smiling, he added: "I guess we will make him feel as welcome as he likes, and maybe we can put Jean [de Villiers] and Jaque [Fourie] up his channel and perhaps a few big guys like Jannie [Du Plessis] up there to make him feel welcome."

The last time Steyn took the field in Wellington, in this season's Tri-Nations series, Bok coach Peter de Villiers chose to play him at fullback, where had almost no experience.

While the Boks ended up on the wrong side of a 40-7 scoreline, Steyn felt the decision to play him out of position was part of a greater plan.

"I think the coach tried a few different things," he said.

"In a World Cup things can happen, injuries can come to the team and then you have to adapt to that, so he tested some of us. Maybe it worked, maybe it didn't."

Steyn redeemed himself and was elevated to first-choice number 10 in Port Elizabeth last month when he scored all the Springboks' points in their 18-5 victory over the All Blacks.

* Can Morne Steyn boot the Boks to the RWC title? Find out the latest odds on BET.CO.ZA


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