Sat 20 Jul 2019 | 06:00

VIDEO: Bok coach's Steyn conundrum

VIDEO: Bok coach's Steyn conundrum
Sat 20 Jul 2019 | 06:00
VIDEO: Bok coach's Steyn conundrum

RUGBY CHAMPIONSHIP SPOTLIGHT: Frans Steyn has played in every backline position, bar scrumhalf, for the Springboks.

In fact, he is the ultimate utility back.

However, South African coach Rassie Erasmus is adamant Steyn is best suited to a specific role in the team.

The 32-year-old, capped 56 times for the Boks, has come off the bench on 20 occasions, played inside centre 16 times, fullback on 15 occasions, outside centre four times, flyhalf once and left wing once.

Steyn made his debut in the No.11 jersey and scored a try against Ireland at Lansdowne Road, Dublin, in November 2006.

However, that would be his only start as a left wing.

At the World Cup, the next year, is when he truly stamped his mark on the international game, as an inside centre.

Despite being constantly shunted around the park since, the No.12 jersey is what Erasmus believes is the best fit for the veteran.

“Inside centre is the position where, I feel, since 2011 when I was involved with the [Springboks’] World Cup [campaign] he has been best at,” Erasmus told a media briefing in the build-up to Saturday’s Test against Australia at Ellis Park.

“I feel he is very good at No.10 and good at No.15 as well.

“He does give you that versatility and experience, which you do need at a World Cup.

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The coach said inside centre is the position Steyn “must go for”, while covering the other positions.

However, he felt the Montpellier player – who will be on the bench for the Boks at Ellis Park on Saturday – must still “prove himself” worthy of a Test recall.

“He did really well this last week or so [at training] and slotted in well with us,” the coach said.

“He brings a lot of calmness and leadership [to the squad].

“However, stepping up from the Top 14, Frans must prove that he can still make the step up at Test level.”

Frans Steyn

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Video: Bok Coach's Steyn Conundrum | Rugby365