White underlines Steyn power
Durban - Cell C Sharks director of rugby Jake White has hailed the importance of Frans Steyn to his team, praising the attitude of the Springbok back despite being shifted around the backline through the season.
The 27-year-old has been switched between centre and flyhalf a few times after injuries to Patrick Lambie and Fred Zeilinga, but has adapted each time, with his consistent kicking a crucial element for the Durban franchise to establish themselves on top of the Super Rugby table.
"I know him since he's 19 and he'll do whatever he thinks is important and whatever we feel the team needs," White said on Wednesday.
"He's slotted in from 12 to 10, he plays week in and week out, he plays 80 minutes all the time.
"His state of mind is that he wants to win this competition.
"He's up for as many (games) as I need him for. He's a real competitor and very important to us."
Steyn went past the 100-point barrier for the season when he landed 16 points against the Blues last week.
It enabled the Sharks to end their overseas tour with a 29-23 victory and third triumph out of four on the road, leaving them five points clear at the summit ahead of their clash against the Stormers on Saturday.
Steyn was then among ten Sharks players who reported to a Springbok training camp in Durban earlier in the week, although he was mainly a spectator because of a problematic knee.
Following the three-day meeting, it was revealed by Springbok management that Steyn has been playing through the pain barrier due to a chronic knee dysfunction - not something new, although White has been successfully managing the problem.
The Sharks chief admitted he was unsure whether Springbok counterpart Heyneke Meyer and his team will have the same attitude towards the 2007 World Cup-winner.
"The thing with Francois Steyn is he needs to be managed on a Monday and a Tuesday," White added.
"I don't know if the Springboks see the fact that he sits out on those days as a fair comparison to the other players that are having to train.
"I haven't chatted to Frans in detail yet, but I think it's highly unlikely if he can't train Mondays and Tuesdays in a short turnaround week in and week out for a national team, they might not see that as a reason to pick him. With the amount of depth they have, maybe they feel they don't need him.
"But for us he's just so important."
On Thursday, the Sharks will announce their team to play the Stormers at Kings Park.