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Morné SteynThe South African rugby season has yet to commence, but Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn’s form for French Top 14 side Stade Français could be creating pre-season worries for coach Heyneke Meyer as he plots his 2014 campaign.

Sport24

According to reports, Stade Français manager Gonzalo Quesada recently admitted that Steyn was struggling to come to grips with the French league, saying that the player ‘needed time to adapt’, had ‘timing problems’ and ‘did not play his best’ and that he ‘made mistakes’ rarely seen by the flyhalf when he was playing in South Africa.

Although the manager remained optimistic that Steyn would improve given time within the Stade Français setup, it might be a cause of concern to some that South Africa’s recent first-choice flyhalf is currently a second-stringer at his French club.

The 29-year old flyhalf has played only a handful of games for the Parisian club since leaving the Bulls in 2013, and he has only started three matches in the top 14 after missing matches late last year due to international commitments on the Springboks’ end of year tour.

Steyn has been upstaged at the French club by 22 year-old rookie flyhalf Jules Plisson, whose form has kept Steyn warming the bench and recently earned the Frenchman a call-up to the France team for the 2014 Six Nations competition.

Meyer will be hoping Steyn can recover his form, regain his place in the Stade Français starting line-up, and get some badly needed game-time under his belt.

An out-of-form Steyn could bode badly for the Springboks as it did when he suffered a dip in form in 2012 which cuminated in him being booed by Springbok supporters in the team’s 14-all draw against England at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

Steyn started at flyhalf in all but one of the Springboks’ Tests in 2013, the exception being the game Patrick Lambie started for the Springboks against Scotland at Murrayfield.

Meyer will be closely monitoring Lambie’s form for the Sharks and Johan Goosen’s return from injury for the Cheetahs during the upcoming Super Rugby competition should Steyn struggle to emerge from his current slump.

The Springboks’ 2014 season kicks off with a two-Test match series against Wales in Durban (14 June) and Nelspruit (21 June) followed by a game against Scotland in Port Elizabeth (28 June).

5 Responses to Morné Steyn’s form in France creates Bok headache

  • 1

    Catch 22 situation. He needs more game time, but cannot get it because he is form.

  • 2

    He is off form.

  • 3

    We all know this is what happens overseas. The same thing happened to Frans Steyn aswell. But yet we keep on hammering on these players for Springbok spots.

    I still feel that overseas based players should not be considered for Bok selection. The problem is that we lose young talent due to the fact that overseas based players like Pienaar and now Steyn keeps getting Bok call ups.

    A move to a overseas based club tells me one thing……..that the player has stopped playing the sport for the love of it and started chasing money. And it would seem that European rugby makes backline players lazy due to the fact that they play play forward based rugby. This is why Flo Louw has excelled at the Boks because he is a flanker and he gets used to playing that kind of rugby all the time.

    All players however playing overseas should be shown the door and not be in contention for a Bok spot. We have flyhalves that if trained correctly can replace Steyn. We have scrumhalves 6000 times better than Pienaar and with a bit of work we can easily replace Flo Louw aswell.

    Here are some replacement ideas
    Pienaar = McLeod, Schreuder, Van Zyl (Why do we hammer on this Pienaar thingy if we have better)
    Steyn = Catrakilis, Zeilinga, Goosen(If his body can last more than 3 games a season)
    Flo = Minnie, Deon Fourie, Stegman. If trained correctly all these can lift Flo from the Bok side.

    There are too many players who play on their fathers and grandfathers merrit and too many players who are picked on form of two or three seasons ago.

  • 4

    3 @ Timothy Bornman:
    I also have a basic problem in selecting overseas Bokke… primarily due to the fact that that they cannot participate in Springbok Training camps during the year before the International windows and also the fact that they would only join the Springboks 6 days before a Test is played.

    I do not think one can wean the Springboks off overseas-based players in one shot, it would have to be done gradually.

    But for the immediate situation one must discard and discount the fringe overseas Bokke like Kirchner, Ralepelle, Jano Vermaak, Ruan Pienaar and only choose overseas players where someone else locally is difficult to pick.

    The positions currently difficult to pick local players until a few really step up in Super ugby 2014 is Openside Flank (Flo Louw), Scrumhalf (Fourie du Preez) and Flyhalf (Morné Steyn). The problem is that these 3 positions are pivotal positions.

    At the same time, if one or more of these 3 are off form, like in Morné’s case, find someone else locally…

  • 5

    I have no problem with selecting overseas based players to play for the Bokke, providing that that player is the best in position, and for the November internationals. I agree that sometimes we may agree on the coach’s choice, ie Ruan Pienaar, but he does cover several positions in the backline, so that can’t ignored. Unfortunately our sport is a professional sport.

    If we look at soccer for example, and look at which national teams do well at WC’s and CAF, its teams with more overseas based players. Teams like Cameroon, Ghana etc.

    SARU will have to get creative, like NZ in striving to keep key players in the country. That means central contracting and pulling key players at certain times of the year from certain competitions. That would mean players like Jannie and Jean would be pulled from either SR or CC for a few games to rest them.



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