Springboks

Boks face flyhalf crisis

2010-09-14 14:15
Butch James (File)
Brenden Nel - SuperSport

Johannesburg - The Springboks face an impending crisis and may be forced to blood a young untested flyhalf on the November Grand Slam tour.

Butch James’s shoulder injury, which was confirmed to be worse than initially expected, leaves the Springbok selectors with a massive quandary, especially as they were planning to leave hard-working flyhalf Morne Steyn behind to rest up ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup.

This could mean a return to flyhalf for Racing Metro’s Francois Steyn, or a call-up for a rookie flyhalf untested who will have to marshall the Bok backline attack for the four Tests against the Home Nations and the game against the Barbarians.

James’s shoulder injury was confirmed to be worse than expected by his club Bath and the Bok back-up will only return to the field in November. Considering the frustration that Bath have had in getting him back injured from the Boks, the chances that they will almost immediately release him to play for the national side look very slim indeed.

Steyn has played virtually non-stop for two years now, not missing a Super 14 game and running himself ragged in the Springbok jersey as well. If any of the Boks deserve a rest, he is certainly one of them and would be looking forward to some time off in November.

But James’s absence, coupled with few options at 10 outside blooding a new Springbok, may mean he may have to make the tour, a decision which could turn out to be a catastrophe in terms of next year’s World Cup.

There is always the chance of using the other Steyn - Francois - at flyhalf, where he has played at Super 14 level before. Ruan Pienaar’s name also comes to mind, although he, after having a massive verbal blast at the Bok management in a local rugby magazine and currently playing scrumhalf for Ulster may not be considered for selection.

Either way, is it really fair to ask that any of these players move to a position they haven’t ever been comfortable with, and which they are not currently playing for their clubs in Europe? The alternative then would be to look at the Currie Cup, well aware of the dangers that form in the domestic competition can bring (remember last year’s November tour).

While youngsters Elton Jantjies and Patrick Lambie are the talk of the town with their impressive performances in the domestic competition, the most consistent player over the past few years is probably Jacques-Louis Potgieter.

If you go for youth you have to ask how much pressure you put on such a youngster playing his first test in front of a capacity crowd at the opening of the new Aviva Stadium in Dublin, facing Ireland in his first test.

It could turn out to be the best gamble of them all, but it also could give him such a knock in confidence that it takes a few seasons to recover from.

Either way, the Bok selection panel will have to do some deep thinking ahead of this year’s Grand Slam tour.

With James out and Steyn needing a rest, their choice could well go a long way to determining the Bok success in the Grand Slam tour.

Read more on:    boks
NEXT ON SPORT24X

Sykes to miss Sharks clash

2014-09-22 19:06

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
27 September 2014
South Africa v Australia, Cape Town 17:05
28 September 2014
Argentina v New Zealand, La Plata 00:10
04 October 2014
South Africa v New Zealand, Johannesburg 17:05
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team
Vote

The single biggest reason the Springboks lost to the Wallabies in Perth, was...

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Featured

Dave ask if you would like to meet your local sports heroes and stand the chance to win prizes to the value of over R40 000.

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

Newsletters Sign up for the Morning Glory, Super 15 and Soccer newsletters

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

Mobile Sport24 on your mobile phone - WAP, alerts, downloads, services

Forum Have your Say on Sport24's brand new Forum!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

Blogs Yes your opinion counts. Get it out there

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.