Div to keep Steyn at No 12

2011-09-20 22:12

Cape Town - Springbok coach Peter de Villiers has hinted he might keep Frans Steyn at inside centre for the remainder of the Rugby World Cup, despite the expected return to fitness of Jean de Villiers.

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The Bok coach confirmed to Die Burger newspaper that he had never intended to play Steyn exclusively at fullback in New Zealand.

"Frans knew from the beginning that he would play inside centre for us," said De Villiers.

Which makes sense given that Steyn played the majority of his rugby at inside centre for his club, Racing Metro, in France.

Steyn was impressive at No 12 against Fiji last week. His physical presence allowed him to attack the advantage line, his ball distribution was sound and his long-range kicking proved vital.

De Villiers believes Steyn's weight counts in his favour at inside centre. "If you consider how important defence has become and you see how much weight can help you get over the advantage line, then you have to go with it (a heavy player)."

"It's at our front door and we have to use it. I think Frans will play a big role in our plans going forward."

At the 2007 World Cup, an injury to Jean de Villiers in the Boks' first game against Samoa gave Steyn a chance to play at No 12 for the rest of the tournament. However, this time round the Western Province centre is expected to return, leaving coach De Villiers with a tough choice.

But the indications are that Steyn will get the nod, with the Capetonian set to be utilised as an impact player.

"It's fantastic to be in such a position. Just think, once you have broken down that wall and you bring Jean on from the bench with all his pace and initiative. That's exactly how our substitutes bench should look. If you have players like Danie Rossouw, Willem Alberts, Bismarck du Plessis, Francois Hougaard and Jean on the bench - it is something exceptional."

The coach believes no other country has the luxury of being able to send on such a strong bench.

South Africa's next World Cup game - against Namibia on Thursday - kicks-off at 10h00 South African time.


South Africa:

15 Pat Lambie, 14 Gio Aplon, 13 Jaque Fourie, 12 Frans Steyn, 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Morné Steyn, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Pierre Spies, 7 Schalk Burger, 6 Willem Alberts, 5 Danie Rossouw, 4 Bakkies Botha, 3 CJ van der Linde, 2 John Smit (captain), Gurthro Steenkamp.

Substitutes: 16 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 17 Tendai Mtawarira, 18 Francois Louw, 19 Heinrich Brüssow, 20 Fourie du Preez, 21 Ruan Pienaar, 22 Juan de Jongh.

15 Chrysander Botha, 14 Danie Dames, 13 Danie van Wyk, 12 Piet van Zyl, 11 Heine Bock, 10 Theuns Kotze, 9 Eugene Jantjies, 8 Jacques Nieuwenhuis, 7 Jacques Burger (c), 6 Tinus du Plessis, 5 Nico Esterhuyse, 4 Heinz Koll, 3 Marius Visser, 2 Bertus O'Callaghan, 1 Johnnie Redelinghuys

Substitutes: 16 Hugo Horn, 17 Jané du Toit, 18 Pieter Jan van Lill, 19 Rohan Kitshoff, 20 Ryan de la Harpe, 21 Darryl de la Harpe, 22 Conrad Marais

* Click HERE for the latest RWC odds on BET.CO.ZA


  • brok3news - 2011-09-20 22:23

    Frans deserves it based on his WC performance thus far.

      thesaoak - 2011-09-20 23:43

      Thats the right call for me! Frans at inside center = Bok 'Rock' Time!!

      Karoobloed - 2011-09-21 00:13

      @Boetjan, I disagree. Your suggested "combination" has not exactly lit up the Rugby world over the last year or two. Frans Steyn apparently prefers 12 and Lambie apparently prefers 15. Steyn's ability to break the line and his accurate long flat passes set alight our backline in a way I have not seen for a while against any opposition. His kicking ability will also not be wasted at 12. I feel for JdV, but at most he should be competing with JdJ for a place on the bench at this point.

      canuck13 - 2011-09-21 00:50

      Agree to keep Frans at 12. But keep him for the whole match. You need someone who can slot a 60 meter penalty if necessary. Frans made some spectacular long, flat passes that bring the back line up at speed. Haven't seen that from JDV.

      Uhuru - 2011-09-21 05:55

      Ja the reason we have such a good bench is because the best players are sitting on the friggin bench. Why are they not starting!?!?!? Bissie and Hougaard should play 80 minutes of every game.

      flat bier - 2011-09-21 06:50

      Drop Habana to the bench and play JDV on the wing...

      patch - 2011-09-21 07:04

      @Ruck'n Punt No mate. Frans Steyn scored the first try, he didn't pass it. Maybe you should watch that replay a bit more... And nobody is showing the Welsh forward pass. because, well, nobody really cares about the Welsh. Other than Daffyd Thomas maybe. In other news; @Boetjan, the combination you're talking about was good. A few years back. Nowdays, they're just not scoring tries; just look at S14/S15 the last few years. JdV is stifling JF, and JF is way good enough to quickly strike up a combination with Frans. I think Divvy must be lightheaded after so much concentrated brain activity...

      Sparkys - 2011-09-21 07:07

      Boetjan...shut up! As much as you think you know the game you looking like a big POOP.It worked against Fiji so leave it. Fourie Dup had a shocker against Wales and we stuck with him.Spies's defence has a Q mark against his name but we stuck with him.If you start picking out everyones little weak points in the team we wont have a team.Their are also injury's you need to consider!!!

      gansgatte - 2011-09-21 07:09

      yes he does -- i still feel he will be most effective at fullback -- lambie too short on the high ball -- he will struggle to compete under a high ball against AB & OZ, would still play JDV at 12, from fullback FS mere presence forces the oposing kickers to make sure of touch, thus giving up meters -- if you don't, well 65mt drop has been done by this man.

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 07:13

      Hey P@tch, hmmmmmmm, definately forward, first game, check it out, strange how it suits when it wants to aye, check it bro.

      Jeff - 2011-09-21 07:38

      Of all these comments, I agree 101% with you, Gansgatte! Im a fan of both Fsteyn and Jdiv. I know That this is part of SA's strategy. Everyone must think Aplon or Lambie will fullfill fullback and prepare accordingly....... To their surprise........ FSteyn @ Fullback-from Semi final......

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 08:05

      @patchy, forward pass, check it, if you don't agree with metres then feet, 1st try, speak up. The conspiricy, it's not that I don't like you, it's because you're conveiniently biased and DUMB

      Chandré Pelser - 2011-09-21 08:15

      @RucknPunt: That pass wasn't forward, I checked three times now... Nobody cares either, since Wales will always be like in the World Cup like the Griquas is in the Currie Cup. A lot of heart, but not enough talent or bulk to win.. The Welsh SHOULD have lost to Samoa, if the ref didn't help Wales out of a couple of tight spots... Anyways, you should be very happy that Wales lost to SA, now you might have a chance to win a quarter final. Do yourself a favour and rather watch the royal wedding again, you'll only have your heart broken watching rugby.

      Weepee - 2011-09-21 08:31

      @Boetjan - agree with you. We need to put the opposition into perspective. Frans had a good game but I very much doubt we would have been compromised had JDV played at 12. Frans can win games & he can also lose games. JDV is a brilliant player and for me still the no1 centre at 12.

      patch - 2011-09-21 11:40

      @Ruck'n Punt Mate: you just don't know when to give up, do you? a) Frans Steyn didn't pass the ball. Morne Steyn did. I would have imagined that somebody supporting Wales, with the 27 Jones' in their RWC squad, would be used to differentiating between guys with the same last name b) Take the time to do some proper investigation before flapping your jaws. Calculate the distance from the try line to where Morne passed the ball, and the distance to the try line when Frans caught the ball. You can do that using the video on YouTube. Hint: be careful of camera perspective... If you're willing to call that forward, well, then you're squiffer than Gareth Thomas. Hint #2: It wasn't forward, even if you're from a backward Welsh mining village,still use feet and/or ropes to measure the amount of coal mined by your old man. And lastly: don't troll and call people dumb. And don't flatter yourself and call it a conspiracy; Wales are not worth conspiring over. They are simply not good enough to warrant the effort. You now look foolish for opening your trap. Well done.

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-09-20 22:30

    hashim amla at 12!

      Blougroen - 2011-09-21 07:39

      Or rather play him at 15 - because without Steyn we are without a fullback . In any event - De Villiers is stronger than any of our fullbacks . . . . . . . . .

      Makutu - 2011-09-21 08:26

      @Blougroen. What about Patrick Lambie?

      Travis - 2011-09-21 08:26

      @Blougroen...I am very happy with Lambie at fullback. He is solid under the high ball, doesn't get flustered, is very sound defensively, and has a great turn of pace. I am so happy to see him there. I think that we would nullify one of our greatest attacking weapons by moving FSteyn to 15. He is a beaut at 12.

  • Ziwi - 2011-09-20 22:31

    Frans = The man.

  • Fleckie - 2011-09-20 22:35

    Thank you for that Diffie!! We all agree that JdV is totally useless now and should definitely consider retirement

      Bez - 2011-09-20 22:54

      Fleckie, ek dink jy's 'n fleckie op die laken vrind!

      Fleckie - 2011-09-20 22:56

      @ Bez Te danke aan jou vrou

      Karoobloed - 2011-09-21 00:20

      Fleckie I agree that FS should be our 1st choice inside centre, but you seem a bit crass in your judgment of JdV - is there a personal issue?

      Ruck'n Punt - 2011-09-21 05:54

      Compared to the game against Fiji compared to what with the last game ie TN, Wales, why are Saffas all of a sudden talking about depth? Think about it, actually don't, suits us fine. The Boks are the BEST, hahaha, all of a sudden from being the wooden spoon you are the GREATEST thanks to Fiji. Depth? hmmmmmmmm

      BlueRaven - 2011-09-21 06:29

      @Ruck the Springboks are not the wooden spooners, they are the defending world champions in case you didn't know idiot.

      Travis - 2011-09-21 08:32

      @Ruck'n Punt...where are you from that you do not have a team to support, and you need to wandering around pulling others down to your level. You are welcome to feel that the Boks win against Wales wasn't deserved, but the score will remain. If you think that the Bok performance against Fuji wasn't compelling, that is fine. We, as proud SAFFAs, think a little differently. We are delighted and are excited for what will be a very challenging remainder of the RWC. Good luck to you and your team...unless of course it is too late for you already, in which case we all say...sorry for that!

  • Zab Juda - 2011-09-20 22:37

    I really don't see J.DeVilliers making too much of an impact off the bench rather, shift him to the wing in place of Habana-he's inneffective anyway and use JDJ as an impact player. Div's reluctance to play Bissie the full 80min will backfire against the big Teams if we are behind he's "impact" might be too late.

      Fleckie - 2011-09-20 22:50

      @Zab JdV should be shot, there's NO place for him in the Springbok team anymore. In fact, he wouldn't make most club teams now

      ObieKonobie - 2011-09-20 23:55

      Shot is a bit harsh, but JDV is becoming a bit of a passenger. Just like that Johan Muller character who I said from the very start was only going over for the free holiday and the paycheck. If it weren't for his lineout ability Matfield would also be in the passenger seat.

      Happybloke - 2011-09-21 01:42

      Jean DIv is an injury pro, he gets injured and does not have the weight, speed and hands that he use to have two years ago, on the bench you do not have to look further, Hougard is there and he is exactly what his position says impact player utility back the best in the world currently. Frans Steyn is a rugby player with flair and fits perfectly with Jaque Fouries game, so do not look further Steyn and Fourie will be the centre pair of teh world cup tournament, Jean has always been great but his game has dropped a lot in the past 9 months and it was due to injuries, play the guys who perform and can stay fit without injuries

  • Vusi9 - 2011-09-20 22:38

    You know what, Div's got it spot on this time round, maybe his plans are starting to come together. If this side fails to be extremely competitive, they will only have themselves to blame, for on paper they are something special.

      Steyts - 2011-09-20 22:47


      SG - 2011-09-21 08:15

      Maybe it's not Div's plans. Don't forget that Rassie joined the management team, and now suddenly it looks like Div has a plan.

      Totman - 2011-09-21 08:33

      Yes, SG maybe it is Rassie, but remember that is why he is there to assist PdV. I am a very big follower of Rassie since playing days till now. Even that he left my beloved FS team, but PdV is the boss and who ever he use it still stays his responsibility. Win or lo....[don't want to say the]

  • Samurai Demo - 2011-09-20 22:40

    frans by 8. gary kirsten 4 bok coach, p divi 4 proteas coach.

  • slg - 2011-09-20 22:42

    Good move provided Aplon is nowhere near the No. 15 jersey. He's too small. He should be used strategically as an impact player.

  • GrahamB - 2011-09-20 22:47

    Frans is burning hot right now, Don't write off JdV just yet, wer'e lucky to have him, still one of the best 12s in the world.

      Fleckie - 2011-09-20 22:54

      @GrahamB ha ha ha haaaaaaahhhhhahahahh Are you drunk??? Lucky to have the idiot, and he is a country mile from one of the best centres. I take it you kidding

  • StBad - 2011-09-20 22:51

    ??? Steyn always knew he would play inside centre for the Boks? Mmmm, doesn't that imply Lambie is first choice fullback, when he's hardly played there for the Boks and had been used at flyhalf just a few weeks ago? A bit of a nitpick but the comment doesn't seem rational... anyway, reckon Steyns a better centre than a FB. Go Boks!

      Magmansa - 2011-09-21 04:16

      How do you guys like Lambie at fullback? I like how he was linking up with Hougies, that could prove to be a great attacking option, if he learnt to hold on the ball for a fraction longer before passing he'd be even better:-)

      Travis - 2011-09-21 08:35

      I agree Magmansa...thought Lambie played really well. I like that he is not selfish. I think Hougaard and him combined well. Hougaard is a little legend, and I think that he might have a really good future for himself. I love the feel that the youngster bring to the team. A little more daring and adventurous. Fantastic!

  • almosthuman - 2011-09-20 22:55

    Ja...with all those donkey cart forwards they will need a strong bench.

      Fleckie - 2011-09-20 23:14

      @almosthuman And the slowest donkey of them all, probably the slowest centre in world rugby currently = JdV

      Northern Stormer - 2011-09-21 06:42

      @almosthuman - You are so right. The biggest donkey is by far "The Snail" Du Preez. he is the main reason for a very slow backline.

  • janajonker - 2011-09-20 22:58

    reminds of england picking mike catt at centre,steyn just better.1more good move needed drop brian habana for foxy. drop brian habana for foxy.

  • Davearch - 2011-09-20 23:13

    Jean and pace are a contradiction in terms ... he has LOST it !!!

      Fleckie - 2011-09-20 23:16

      @Davearch Totally. I think Mannetjies Roux will lap him now. It's actually a joke to think this p@ephol still makes the Bok team

      Happybloke - 2011-09-21 04:58

      That is a true fact

  • steam_engine - 2011-09-20 23:14

    The selection of John Smit ahead Bismarck is unacceptable!!! Captains are chosen based on 1) perfomance on the field, 2) influence towards teamnates on & off the field 3) leadership qualities JS has peaked long time ago he doesn't deserve to be in NZ. Pity that Bismarck has to compete the leadership has not even won the SUPER RUGBY at provincial. This reminds me of LUKE WATSON who was not seen as a player(although he was & still the best in his position) but rather as "SON OF POLITICIAN CHEEKY!!" Johnny BB is right in suggesting that JS= QOUTA PLAYER ....NOT SELECTED ON MERIT!!!

      Justin - 2011-09-21 07:55

      Did you see JS's performance against Fiji? He stepped up to the mark and played extremely well! Also, if you don't know South Africa's strategy get, you really shouldn't be watching rugby - we are creating a bench of intensely strong impact players. Even if they are the better in their position, we are asking out starting 15 to hold the opposition off and tire them out, then we demolish them with the strongest attaching bench we can muster. It is a smart move provided the starting 15 can staunch the oppositions attach and hold them off. We currently have the best bench in the world cup - we are essentially forcing the other coaches to think twice about their selections as well as their bench split. We are forcing them to play our game. This is a strategy which I believe can win the cup. BOKKE!!!!!!!!!!

  • janajonker - 2011-09-20 23:21

    chilliboy a better hooker than gary botha?

      Wormtongue - 2011-09-20 23:28

      Oh please let us not start this lame argument again.

      Travis - 2011-09-21 08:38

      Gary Botha is doing great now that he has a new wheel chair. Respect for the elderly, ok. hahaha

      ObieKonobie - 2011-09-21 11:59

      But Gary has a bigger boep and can like to praat die taal da bulle will always picks him

  • Kobus - 2011-09-20 23:37

    What I don't understand is, is that before the world cup there were so many people saying Steyn is useless and everything. Now people are thinking he's the best.. Sounds dodgy. The reason why Smit is still playing is because if Bismark is playing(which I hope he will) we don't have a "good" captain. As soon as Vic comes back Smit goes to the bench

  • Bok-USA - 2011-09-21 00:27

    @Fleckie. Every comment you've made has been repugnant. It is nobody's fault but your own that you have nothing going for you. Also, accept your little "winkie" ou Fleckie.

      BulvanBulle - 2011-09-21 02:22

      @Bok USA Slow on the brandy my boy

  • Grootbroer - 2011-09-21 00:29

    I like both players, really !! BUT, I would not have done this. Frans is strong / big, but I am confident that Jean is a better 12. Snorre jy jaag aan !!

      Zab Juda - 2011-09-21 01:31

      In which way? in not spreading the ball to the wings or getting the backline moving for that matter, just crashing into tackels or worse! leaving gaps in the defense to go for the intercept??? please fill us my view JDV is just another lame excuse of a "meisekind", for the love of money will he and JS retire already, gosh! the WC is not a place to top-up one's retirement annuity.

      BulvanBulle - 2011-09-21 02:24

      Grootbroer Vat jy aaptwak? Is jy totaal bed@nnerd in jou kop man, JdV is 'n TOTALE grap.

      RandomDude - 2011-09-21 06:10

      +1 to Zab

      Lance - 2011-09-21 10:53

      Jean's style of play has been studied by the opposition. After a T3 game they spoke of how quickly Jean is tackled when he gets the ball and he is the reason our backline has been so dead of late. FS has amazing physical presence which Jean cant match. Jean's cracked rib will niggle him and his defensive capabilities will suffer. Lets see if Snor has the courage to keep starting Danie before Matfield...Matfields lineouts have been average at best. The physical make-up of the Boks is the reason they are so dominant...Uncle Vic as impact player..

  • Johann - 2011-09-21 05:33

    Come knock out stages, we're going to need Steyn's physicality at 12. SBW is very much the choice the 12 in the RWC at the moment, and I'm afraid JDV does not match him physically, JDV might have more flair than FS, but his head is not currently in it. so what we need is FS's youthfully brashness.

  • Clark Kent - 2011-09-21 06:33

    What a great idea the Boks are going to have a kick kick game thats a different style from the boring Boks, now that should get the Rugby purist mouths watering. No need to worry for the Boke fans that want to see running rugby from your team he will get carried off the field when you play Samoa

      Lance - 2011-09-21 11:00

      Is it just me or cant you remember the last time Mr Kent spoke how "his team" was going to outplay (or outmuscle) the MIGHTY BOKS). Always what the Boks CANT DO....never what "his team" CAN DO ???

      Vusi9 - 2011-09-21 11:14

      Too true, there are insecure people in the world and then there is Mr Kent.

      Safaripak - 2011-09-21 19:14

      Why so bitter Clark Kent? - you certainly do not sound like a real New Zealander. If you promise to change your bitter Bok hater ways, I will send you a kortbroek Superman Safaripak in the mail - now would that be a NZ or Saffa address?

  • Brandon96end - 2011-09-21 06:45

    Yup. Sorry for Jean but that's professional sport for you mate.

  • Northern Stormer - 2011-09-21 06:54

    Yes JdV is not up to his game currently due to various reasons and yes Frans performed well at No 12 against the No 12 team in the world and yes he should play there if he is the best but to me it is clear why all the Bulls supporters "need" Frans to stay there because that will eliminate Lambie to take over No 10 from the "Turnstile" Morne Steyn. Must admit he had a better game against Fidji but once again - weak opposition. Against Wales he was poor and outplayed and he together with "The Snail" Du Preez they kill the whole backline on attack. By the time the ball gets to No 12 all the defenders are on top of him and he is forced to bang it up and keep possesion. Play Hougaard at No 9,Lambie at No 10 and JdV at No 12 against Samoa and you will clearly notice the difference. We don't need Morne for kicking - Frans and Lambie is just as good and maybe even better ??? Only time will tell what is the best for the Boks and thats all that matter - The Boks !!! If JdV is not needed there, fake an injury and send him back as he would make a decent combination with Sadie in the CC and we need all the help we can get from here on !!!

  • Pennyformy.. - 2011-09-21 07:20

    Coach Peter de Villiers has become increasingly convoluted in justifying his support for his captain, John Smit, who threatens to pervert his legacy by sheer bloody-mindedness. Bismarck du Plessis is a hungrier, more confrontational player, a human wrecking ball; Smit is a drowning man clinging to the increasingly tattered shreds of his reputation. The justification for Smit's continued inclusion is that he melds and moulds, unifies and leads. But elite sportsmen are notoriously sensitive to sporting imperfection, and Smit's outstanding leadership abilities are being compromised by his on-field failings. His authority ultimately derives from his ability as a player. When that ability is compromised, so is his natural authority. (Timeslive) Please see the light Div - you've managed to do it with Steyn at centre!!!

  • OU AAP - 2011-09-21 07:20

    Baie beter as ou slap hand Jean

  • wozlocksley - 2011-09-21 07:30

    @karoobloed - i like your thinking - my sentiments exactly.

  • Anchorman - 2011-09-21 07:44

    why oh why oh why Pdivy then, jy is n groot **** why cant you give JdJ a chance he is much better than both FS and JD at center he is a specialist at center u **** , but ya what can I do about it nothing.

      Lance - 2011-09-21 11:23

      The selction process is four man decision I am sure, unlikley Divs alone..Juan de Jong is great player but his defense is suspect when compared to JdV and FS. I would agree that as n impact player de Jongs pace and sidestep will embarass many defenders in the last 15 minutes of a game. Jean, youre a great player but just off form at the wrong time..

  • Worldchamp - 2011-09-21 07:58

    I'm a fan of John Smit, but he needs a rest for this game. Why not play Chili and have Bismarck at bench. Schalk can take over captaincy for this game. Div put on a very good team I predict South- Africa win this game by 60plus points

  • Slasher27 - 2011-09-21 08:04

    Good move, Frans set the backline alight against Fiji. Jean is a slightly more direct kind of player where as Frans looks to move the ball wide quickly. Either way, we fortunate to have that quality at inside center.

  • Reagan Jacobs - 2011-09-21 08:10

    With him at Centre you nullify his kicking ability...who is going to pin teams back in their own half? As for Jean going to Wing...why would you want to starve you playmaker from the ball? Juan de Jong can do what Frans Steyn does at Centre. He can take the ball up as good as anyone and his defence is better than Steyn. #imjustsaying

  • corne.duvenage - 2011-09-21 08:17

    Jean de Villiers has always been over rated anyway!! It was a blessing again that he got injured.

  • cj - 2011-09-21 08:18

    Al wat my pla van Div se kommentaar is dat dit lyk asof hy nou vir Steyn op die ou "crash ball" manier wil gebruik.

  • LouisFLY - 2011-09-21 08:21

    frans jou monster

  • popeye - 2011-09-21 08:45

    The tactics we are using is that the out of form player must get injured then the inform player gets selected.

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