Damian Willemse and Johan Goosen are the favourites to conjure big plays for South Africa on the end-of-year tour, and former Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn says both specialise in making “something out of nothing”.
Willemse’s progression and maturity has been a revelation for the Boks this season, and his exceptional skills were on display at flyhalf against Australia and Argentina in the Rugby Championship.
But, Steyn, who earned cult status with his series-winning penalties for the Boks against the British & Irish Lions in 2009 and 2021, believes his Vodacom Bulls teammate Goosen is serious competition for the Bok No 10 jersey on the November tour.
“At the moment, there are a lot of options for Jacques Nienaber in that position,” Steyn told BokSquad.
“Johan is the same kind of player as Gaza [Willemse], in that he can make something out of nothing. It’s going to be interesting to see what Jacques does with those selections at No 10.”
Flyhalf is a position of concern for the Boks, especially as Handre Pollard picked up a knock in his debut for Leicester Tigers, while Elton Jantjies’ Test future remains uncertain.
Yet, there have been a number of SA playmakers knocking on the door with excellent performances in the Vodacom United Rugby Championship.
The 38-year-old Steyn added: “I’m enjoying the opportunity to watch younger guys like Chris Smith grow. Johan Goosen is an incredible player. You can’t put him in a box – he just wants to play rugby.
“If those players can learn one small thing from me, I’ve done my job. I’m still playing, but I’m helping the younger guys and trying to make a difference.”