Morné Steyn has made it into Springbok talks more and more over the last few months, so what does that mean for the other candidates? Asks Wynona Louw
CAPE TOWN – Morné Steyn has made it into Springbok talks more and more over the last few months, so what does that mean for the other candidates?
The last few weeks have dished up some interesting and encouraging displays as far as the national picture is concerned.
There has been loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit’s remarkable comeback after spending more than a year on the sidelines due to a complicated injury, a comeback which of course bodes well for the Boks ahead of the British & Irish Lions series. After all, how can we forget about the Stormers forward’s heroics in Japan and the massive role he has come to play for South Africa?
Then there has been Damian Willemse steadily settling into his role at fullback for the Stormers, something that has come at just the right time considering his earlier struggles.
And then, of course, there has been Steyn, who has been playing some of the best rugby of his career and has introduced a new element into his previously kicking-oriented rugby resume.
He has been a big part of the Bulls’ domestic success since rugby’s resumption and, at the weekend, he produced another man-of-the-match display in their Rainbow Cup SA win against the Sharks.
Handré Pollard is of course the No.1 flyhalf, and his successful recovery should see him continue in that role. But what about the back-ups?
There’s Elton Jantjies, who joined French club Pau to help him get ready for the Lions. And it’s safe to assume that he will be Pollard’s second-in-command.
And then there’s the relatively (recently) quiet name of Curwin Bosch, who also formed part of the Bok alignment camps.
Again, Steyn has been outstanding, no doubt, but is it enough to warrant the 36-year-old’s inclusion for the Boks’ biggest assignment of the year?
On form alone, you would have to prepare a watertight argument to claim he does not.
For one, few other SA flyhalves have really (consistently) put their hands up. Also, the fact that Steyn was part of the recent alignment camps also hints at his involvement come the series.
Someone like Frans Steyn is another player one can never really crop out of the Bok picture, and if he does feature, it probably won’t be as a specialist flyhalf. Still, he is another one to remember throughout all the Morne-Steyn focus.
Bok talking point recently, but it doesn’t matter how many around-the-braai or pub talks his name dominates, ultimately, it’s up to Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber to decide whether or not they feel Steyn can offer the squad something heading into the July spectacle.
And if so, in what capacity? Only time will tell, and while it can’t be said with any certainty if and how he will play a role for the Springboks against the Lions, one thing is for sure, his performances over the last nine months have certainly warranted those Bok-related talks.