Call Us Now: +1 (669) 221-4085
Boks turn to Mr Dependable Steyn for must-win game against Pumas

Boks turn to Mr Dependable Steyn for must-win game against Pumas

Injury-hit SA have turned to calm-headed Mr Dependable Frans Steyn to steer the ship when they face Argentina in a crunch showdown at Kings Park in Durban on Saturday.

A succession of injuries forced Bok coach Jacques Nienaber to name the veteran, two-time World Cup winner as his starting flyhalf in the must-win Rugby Championship clash.

Steyn steps up to replace Damian Willemse, who suffered a concussion in Saturday’s 36-20 victory against Argentina in Buenos Aires.

With Handré Pollard injured and Elton Jantjies no longer in the squad, Nienaber’s options were limited to Steyn, Faf de Klerk and Willie le Roux to fill in at No 10.

Nienaber has made only two changes to his starting team and  decided to name six forwards and two backs on the replacements bench.

Apart from Steyn, Pieter Steph du Toit returns to the starting line-up at flanker in place of Franco Mostert, who will provide an impact off the bench.

The notable changes in the replacements are the return of hooker Bongi Mbonambi, who makes a welcome return from a knee injury, and Kurt-Lee Arendse, who has completed his suspension after a dangerous tackle last month.

Mbonambi will be joined by strong reinforcements in Vincent Koch (prop) and Duane Vermeulen (No 8), who join Mostert and Kwagga Smith as the forwards on the bench.

Faf de Klerk and Arendse, meanwhile, will provide cover among the backs, with De Klerk earmarked as the backup scrumhalf and flyhalf cover, while Arendse will cover fullback and wing.

“We showed in the first half last week what we are capable of and our fighting spirit in the dying minutes was admirable,” Nienaber said.

“That made it easy for us to opt for continuity in selection in the starting line-up.

“Obviously the one change was injury-enforced as Damian Willemse has been ruled out due to concussion, and we were pleased with the calmness Frans Steyn brought at flyhalf when Damian left the field.

“The energy and enthusiasm Pieter-Steph has been showing at training has also been great, and we know what he is capable of in this loose trio, so I am sure he will make an impact among the loose forwards.”

Of the decision to name a split of six forwards and two backs on the bench, Nienaber said: “We know what challenges Argentina will pose and we felt this would be the best option for this match specifically.

“We have a group of hungry and talented players serving in the bomb squad this week and every player in the match-day squad knows what is expected of them if we want to win the Rugby Championship.

“We viewed last week as a semifinal and this week as a final, but Argentina are a team that do not give an inch and they never stop fighting, as we saw last week.

“They defeated New Zealand away from home against the odds and registered a convincing victory against Australia at home, so we know we are in for a huge battle.”

Springbok team: 15 Willie le Roux, 14 Canan Moodie, 13 Jesse Kriel 12 Damian de Allende,

11 Makazole Mapimpi, 10 Frans Steyn, 9 Jaden Hendrikse, 8 Jasper Wiese,

7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Lood de Jager, 4 Eben Etzebeth,

3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Replacements: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Ox Nché, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Franco Mostert,

20 Duane Vermeulen, 21 Kwagga Smith, 22 Faf de Klerk, 23 Kurt-Lee Arendse

Support independent journalism by subscribing to the Sunday Times. Just R20 for the first month.

Read More

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.