Steyn limits Boks - Le Roux

2011-07-29 17:22
Morne Steyn (AP Photo)

Johannesburg - The decision to deploy Morne Steyn at fullback could limit the Springboks in offensive situations, former Springbok Hennie le Roux said on Friday.

"Playing him at 15 could limit the Springboks as far as their plan of attack is concerned," said Le Roux.

Steyn was moved from flyhalf to the team's last line of defence in a late change made by Springbok coach Peter de Villiers ahead of Saturday's Tri-Nations Test against New Zealand in Wellington.

The responsibility of making the most important on-field decisions would rest on the shoulders of young Patrick Lambie who was set to earn his first starting cap for the national team.

"I find it very difficult to agree with that decision although I'm sure there must be some sort of logic behind it," said Le Roux.

"I've not seen him (Steyn) play at fullback and I'm not sure that he has the skills needed to play in that position as he's not shown those specific skills while playing at 10." Le Roux, who played 15 Tests at centre and 12 at flyhalf, said it could be asking too much of Steyn to slot into a position where he had only played twice for the Bulls, back in 2008.

"To make that adjustment to your game at Test level is extremely difficult and regular fullbacks have a better understanding of the opposing team's methods on attack," he said.

There was, however, the possibility that the two flyhalves could switch places during the match, depending on the team's field position, in which case Steyn was likely to be the pivot when the All Blacks venture deep inside Springbok territory.

Le Roux said, if that were the case, there were also other factors to consider.

"If there is a plan to rotate them during the match there is always the risk that they will lose focus and that could cause confusion as to what their respective roles in the team are."

Looking ahead to this year's World Cup, Le Roux said that, at this stage, he had no favourite to fill the number 10 jersey.

He felt the side's flyhalf should be picked based on the opposition and field conditions on the day.

As for last week's 39-20 defeat to the Wallabies, Le Roux expressed concern about the basic mistakes the Springbok halfback pair made during the match. "I'm not sure whether it was just a lack of communication or instructions from the coaches, but you cannot expect your team to get on the front foot if the flyhalf is more than 15 feet out, as was the case against Australia last week," he said.

"It makes it so easy for the opposition to defend against us."

Read more on:    tri-nations  |  morne steyn  |  boks  |  all blacks


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