Morne Steyn’s steady boot earns him a South Africa recall for Lions series

Veteran played key role in victory over Lions during 2009 series

 Morne Steyn, seen here  in action for  the Bulls, has been named in the South Africa squad for the Lions series. Photograph: Sydney Sehibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Morne Steyn, seen here in action for the Bulls, has been named in the South Africa squad for the Lions series. Photograph: Sydney Sehibedi/Gallo Images/Getty Images

 

South Africa’s desire to have an outhalf who can settle the nerves and eke out a win in tight situations led to a recall for Morne Steyn for the British & Irish Lions series starting next month.

Steyn won the last of his 66 Test caps in 2016 and, despite the fact that he will turn 37 before the start of the Lions series, has been rewarded for some gritty displays for the Bulls in South African domestic rugby.

It was Steyn’s steady boot that won the Springboks the 2009 Lions series and head coach Jacques Nienabar hopes he will bring that same calming influence.

“The big thing we were looking for there was consistency,” Nienabar told reporters, adding that Steyn had been the most consistent outhalf since domestic rugby returned in November after being interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Steyn beat Sharks number 10 Curwin Bosch for a place in the 46-man squad that will also play two Tests against Georgia before the Lions series.

While Nienabar acknowledged the talent of Bosch, his selection of a more steady boot in Steyn perhaps reveals how the Boks will play.

“[Bosch’s] X-factor is phenomenal and he can win games for you out of nothing. He’s only 23 and as he grows a little bit older and plays more big games, Currie Cup finals like he did this year, he will probably get more consistent.

“I can see him playing a lot of Test matches for South Africa. ”

World Cup winner Handre Pollard is likely to be the starting outhalf for the Boks though he has spent most of the 2020-21 French Top 14 season on the sidelines at Montpellier with a serious knee injury that will always cast doubt on his fitness.

The more flamboyant Elton Jantjies is the other number 10 in the squad, though his ball-in-hand style does not suit the Boks’ forward-dominated game and he is likely to be used as an impact player off the bench if they choose to switch their game plan.

Secondrow RG Snyman has been in the squad despite not having played a match since injuring an ACLon his Munster debut last August. Munster centre Damian de Allende is named in the backs.

The Boks will play warm-up Tests against Georgia on July 2nd and 9th, before they face the Lions on three consecutive Saturdays from July 24th.

SOUTH AFRICA SQUAD
Forwards:
Thomas du Toit, Steven Kitshoff, Vincent Koch, Frans Malherbe, Ox Nche, Trevor Nyakane, Coenie Oosthuizen, Joseph Dweba, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Scarra Ntubeni, Lood de Jager, Eben Etzebeth, Nicolaas Janse van Rensburg, Franco Mostert, Marvin Orie, RG Snyman, Dan du Preez, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Siya Kolisi, Kwagga Smith, Marco van Staden, Duane Vermeulen, Jasper Wiese, Jean-Luc du Preez, Rynhardt Elstadt.

Backs: Faf de Klerk, Herschel Jantjies, Sanele Nohamba, Cobus Reinach, Elton Jantjies, Handre Pollard, Morne Steyn, Lukhanyo Am, Damian de Allende, Jesse Kriel, Wandisile Simelane, Frans Steyn, Aphelele Fassi, Cheslin Kolbe, Willie le Roux, Makazole Mapimpi, Sbu Nkosi, Yaw Penxe, Rosko Specman, Damian Willemse.

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