The Boks head into Saturday’s final Rugby Championship test against the Pumas in Durban with a strong chance of winning the trophy, and in that context, Frans Steyn’s place in the side looks more important than ever.
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It was confirmed on Monday that Damian Willems will be unavailable this week after suffering a heavy knock on the head last Saturday, and Steyn is now set to start his first international at flyhalf since 2008.
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As well as winning two World Cups, Steyn was also part of the Springboks’ series triumphs against the British and Irish Lions in 2009 and 2021. The 35-year-old has 77 Test caps to his name and is expected to remain in the squad that travels to France for the World Cup next year.
Taking to Twitter, Rossi Erasmus highlighted how incredible it was that Steyn was still performing at the highest level and also credited fellow Irishman Jonny Sexton.
“My opinion: It’s just incredible how these two top guys and players are still doing their job at the highest level given the type of players they are (physical qualities and smart tactics in every game) Leco! I’m proud,” Erasmus wrote.
Meanwhile, in the only other change to the Springboks’ morning XV for this Saturday’s clash against Argentina, Peter Steph du Toit returns to the starting line-up on the wing in place of Franco Mostert, who will make an impact from the bench.
Notable changes among the replacements are the return of prostitute Bongi Mbonambi, who is keen to return from a knee injury, and Kurt-Lee Arendse, who completed his suspension after a dangerous tackle last month.
Mbonambi will be joined by strong reinforcements in Vincent Koch (set) and Dwayne Vermeulen (#8), who join Mostert and Kwagi Smith as forwards on the bench.
Faf de Klerk and Arendse, meanwhile, will cover the full-backs, with De Klerk designated as a back-up full-back and full-back, while Arendse will cover at full-back and on the wing depending on how the match unfolds.
Frans Stein rarely starts at halftime:
15 – Willie le Roux (Toyota Verblitz) – 78 matches, 65 points (13 tons)
14 – Kanan Moody (Vodacom Bulls) – 2 games, 5 points (1 t)
13 – Jesse Krill (Canon Eagles) – 55 games, 60 points (12 points)
12 – Damian de Allende (Wild Knights) – 65 games, 45 points, (9t)
11 – Makazole Mapimpi (Cell C Sharks) – 32 caps, 110 points (22t)
10 – Frans Stein (Toyota Cheetahs) – 77 games, 156 points (11t, 10c, 24p, 3d)
9 – Jayden Hendricks (Cell C Sharks) – 9 games, 10 points (2t)
8 – Jasper Wiese (Leicester Tigers) – 17 games, 0 points
7 – Peter-Steph du Toit (Toyota Verblitz) – 63 matches, 15 points (3t)
6 – Siya Kolisi (captain, Cell C Sharks) – 70 games, 35 points (7t)
5 – Lud de Jaeger (Wild Knights) – 63 games, 25 points (5 t)
4 – Eben Etzebet (Cell C Sharks) – 105 matches, 15 points (3t)
3 – Frans Mahlerb (DHL Stormers) – 53 games, 5 points (1t)
2 – Malcolm Marks (Kubota Spurs) – 54 games, 65 points (13 tons)
1 – Steven Kitsgoff (DHL Stormers) – 66 games, 5 points (1t)
16 – Bongi Mbonambi (Cell C Sharks) – 51 games, 55 points (11 points)
17 – Ox Nche (Cell C Sharks) – 14 matches, 0 points
18 – Vincent Koch (Wasps) – 36 games, 0 points
19 – Franco Mostert (Honda Heat) – 58 matches, 10 points (2t)
20 – Duane Vermeulen (Ulster) – 64 games, 15 points (3t)
21 – Kwaga Smith (Shizuoka Blue Revs) – 26 games, 15 points (3t)
22 – Faf de Klerk (Yokohama Canon Eagles) – 41 matches, 25 points (5 goals)
23 – Kurt-Lee Arends (Vodacom Bulls) – 2 games, 5 points (1t)
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