Cape Town - Any
early mishap to starting flyhalf Elton Jantjies might leave the Springboks
vulnerable against Australia on Saturday … it would probably force substitute
Frans Steyn into a role he has seldom occupied in recent times.
sometimes controversial, Montpellier-based star was named earlier this week by
coach Rassie Erasmus among the reserves - there are three backliners in their
midst - for the Rugby Championship clash at Emirates Airline Park (17:05
Steyn has 56
Bok caps stretching back to 2006, and while his positional versatility is
extraordinary, he has only ever started one Test specifically at pivot, against
Italy at Newlands more than 11 years ago (June 2008) when scrumhalf service to
him was provided by Ricky Januarie.
But he would
appear to be the most suitable candidate, nevertheless, if suddenly required
there in an emergency capacity against the Wallabies on Saturday, as the other
two backs on the splinters are scrumhalf Cobus Reinach and back-three
specialist Dillyn Leyds.
player has several of the skills needed to do the job, but he is not a renowned
place-kicker, an area where Steyn - with his unusually powerful, long-range
boot - is traditionally far more proficient.
French-based prior World Cup winner, from Jake White’s 2007 Boks, seems a
better bet at flyhalf in the event that Jantjies has to leave the field
Yet Steyn is
notably more comfortable either as an inside centre or fullback.
“I agree … I
don’t think Frans is a natural ten,” says kicking guru and dual former
Springbok and SA Sevens player Vlok Cilliers.
played some of his best Bok rugby in midfield, in the Jake era, and we have
also seen him excel at fullback, where there is the freedom for him to look up
and assess situations - he has the power to run it up nicely and also the
ability to blast the ball 60 metres at times.
“But you get
less time on the ball at flyhalf and I don’t think that suits him as much.
Chances to carry the ball up effectively are also better at twelve, often, than
they are from ten.
“So I looked
at that team-sheet Rassie put out and did wonder how things might go if Elton
were to have to come off too early.
aren’t any injury-related factors at play, though, I would quite like to see
Frans get a crack at inside centre some time in the second half, where his huge
experience would help Elton, right nearby him.”
Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11
Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Herschel Jantjies, 8 Francois
Louw, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Rynhardt Elstadt, 5 Lood de Jager, 4
Eben Etzebeth (captain), 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Bongi Mbonambi, 1 Tendai
Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Lizo Gqoboka, 18
Vincent Koch, 19 Marvin Orie, 20 Marcell Coetzee, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22
Frans Steyn, 23 Dillyn Leyds
Tom Banks , 14 Dane Haylett-Petty, 13 Tevita Kuridrani, 12 Samu Kerevi,
11 Reece Hodge, 10 Bernard Foley, 9 Nic White, 8 Isi Naisarani, 7
Michael Hooper (captain), 6 Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, 5 Rory Arnold, 4 Izack
Rodda, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Folau Fainga’a, 1 James Slipper
16 Jordan Uelese, 17 Harry Johnson-Holmes, 18 Taniela Tupou, 19 Rob
Simmons, 20 Jack Dempsey, 21 Will Genia, 22 Matt To’omua, 23 Kurtley
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