The Boks have continued to back most of the players who have made the cut in their last two games as they made just two changes to the starting 15, one of which was applied, as Steyn replaces injured Damian Willemse, and Pieter-Steph du Toit returns flank instead of Franco Mostert.
The last time Steyn started as a flyhalf for the Boks was in 2008 against Italy in Cape Town, but coach Jacques Nienaber believes he has what it takes to do the job, and that Faf de Klerk will be a capable replacement for him in the position.
“He played fly-half for the Cheetahs in the Currie Cup and he’s obviously practiced a lot of fly-half for us. It’s the same with Faf covering the fly-half. I guess if you lose a few fly-halves, that’s where you sit in terms of the team,” Nienaber explained.
“But we are lucky. Damian Willemse is the same as Frans. He covers flyhalf, centre, fullback and Frans covers the same, just with 10 years more experience than Damian.
Asked if he had considered bringing Elton Jantjies back into the fold, despite his recent transgressions, Nienaber admitted he wanted to but didn’t think it was the right time.
“It would have been nice (to bring Jantjies back). But with mental health issues and mental health being such a big thing, and the external pressures that are on him from a human side, it would have been unfair for him to have him. bring it back,” Nienaber said.
“Obviously there would be a lot of outside pressure on him and for us the person comes first. So that would have been good, but unfortunately I think it would be unfair to him.
Nienaber was also asked why he hadn’t chosen one of the younger and upcoming fly-halfs to be part of the Bok roster camps earlier in the season, so they could have to be called upon in a situation like this.
“I think if you go that route you’ll have five specialist fly-halfs and you’ll never use five specialist fly-halfs. If you go to a World Cup you can probably take two specialist fly-halfs and then your next replacements in the squad will be guys covering the position,” Nienaber said.
“I think all teams are made up like that. If we had gone with five specialist fly-halfs even in a roster camp, the time and effort we put into a player would have been diminished. It dilutes your time with a specialist position and there are so many details that go into it.
“We forget about a guy like Johan (Goosen), he’s our third-choice specialist, and he’s still coming back from injury.
“Then there are four players in the URC that you can mention, like Jordan (Hendrikse), Manie (Libbok), Kade (Wolhutter). It’s a bunch of exciting nice flying coming and if we have any injuries continue in this position, we would give them an opportunity.