‘Steyn ticks every box’

Sharks coach Gary Gold believes Frans Steyn would be a valuable asset to the Springboks’ World Cup squad, writes CRAIG LEWIS in Durban.

Steyn, who earned his last Test cap in 2012, has been in the international wilderness for an extended period, but has formed part of the Springbok squad this season.

However, a pectoral injury suffered in Vodacom Super Rugby ruled him out of the Rugby Championship, while a family bereavement meant he was unavailable for the recent trip to Buenos Aires where the Boks faced Argentina in their final match before the World Cup.

Although Steyn is not expected to make the cut for the final 31-man World Cup squad to be announced at 6pm, Gold said there was no doubting the 28-year-old’s value.

‘Frans Steyn could and would be incredibly valuable for the Springboks in the northern hemisphere. He’s played a number of seasons there, he’s versatile and goal-kicking is going to be essential in the World Cup because the game changes as teams become more conservative and play a little less rugby.

‘Penalties become critical and games are won on smaller margins, and when the heat starts coming, and believe me it does when you get to the play-off stage, you need guys who have been there and done it. And couple that with the fact that he covers you out and out in three positions on the rugby field.’

Steyn started the last nine of his 53 Tests at inside centre, but is capable of covering flyhalf and fullback.

‘Versatility, experience, form and leadership, Steyn ticks every box,’ Gold added. ‘If he doesn’t make it, I would respect the coach’s decision because there will be reasons why. Frans has been injured and that doesn’t count in his favour which I completely get. But he would be a fantastic asset to any international team. You ask the question like that, would any other team take him? I think most would snap him up.’

Photo: Andrew Cornaga/Photosport

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Craig Lewis