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Steyn the likeliest answer to Bok flyhalf crisis

Pollard and Jantjies not available for Puma game

Athenkosi Tsotsi Sports Reporter
Frans Steyn likely to make Springbok return.
Frans Steyn likely to make Springbok return.
Image: Lee Warren/Gallo Images

It looks like the Springboks will be pinning their hopes on Frans Steyn to roll back the years at fly-half when they take on Argentina at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday (5.05pm) in the final match of the Rugby Championship. 

The Boks have a crisis in the no 10 position, they do not have a recognised fly-half in their camp at the moment. Regular fly-half Handre Pollard is out with a knee injury, while Elton Jantjies was released to deal with personal matters. 

This meant that Damian Willemse would deputise in fly-half in the absence of Pollard and Jantjies; the makeshift fly-half put out commanding performances in the wins against Australia and Argentina to place the Boks right in contention for the Rugby Championship. 

However, Willemse won’t be able to continue in the fly-half position as he’s ruled out for the weekend's Test after he sustained a concussion in Saturday’s 36-20 victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires and will return to the Stormers to follow the prescribed return-to-play protocols.

With the Boks depleted at fly-half, many would have expected one of either Mannie Libbok, Chris Smith or Jordan Hendrikse to be roped in to wear the no 10 jersey on Saturday, but Bok coach Jacques Nienaber opted not to do so. Instead, he brought in cover on the wings recalling Sbu Nkosi and Kurt-Lee Arendse for the last Test of the Rugby Championship. 

Today Nienaber will be making his team announcement for Saturday’s encounter with Los Pumas, and his options at fly-half are thin. Outside of Styen, Nienaber can deploy Willie le Roux or Faf de Klerk, who has previously said he’ll be more than willing to play there. 

The option of Steyn playing at fly-half is more appealing and serves to the purpose of him being in the team, the utility back that covers all positions. Steyn has never had a consistent run at fly-half during his long and illustrious Springboks career. So should he play on Saturday, he’ll want to put to bed all those past bad showings in that position.

The positive about Steyn playing at fly-half is that he will be sure to kick in any penalty or conversion that comes his way. 

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