Saturday’s Rugby Championship Test between New Zealand and South Africa in Wellington could be a significant one in the career of Springbok flyhalf Handré Pollard.
The 20-year-old was on Wednesday included in the Bok starting team at the expense of the experienced Morné Steyn, who seemed to pay the price for his late kicking blunder against Australia in Perth last weekend.
South Africa have handed the controls to 20-year-old first five-eighth Handré Pollard as they look for an attacking spark to end their three-year drought against the All Blacks.
Pollard is the only change to the Springbok side that lost narrowly to Australia in Perth last week, but signals a major shift from coach Heyneke Meyer as he looks forward toward next year’s World Cup.
Significantly, Pollard, in what will be just his fourth test, pushes the more traditional South African veteran Morné Steyn out of the squad for what is South Africa’s biggest test of The Rugby Championship so far this year.
In the 60th minute of the Springboks’ 33-31 win against Argentina two weeks ago, replacement No 10 Morné Steyn ripped a beautiful flat pass, left to right, to take out two Pumas defenders and put Jean de Villiers in enough space to release Cornal Hendricks for a crucial try.
South Africa has gone back to what it knows against the Wallabies on Saturday – Steyn replaces youngster Handré Pollard and Victor Matfield returns to run the lineout – and it makes it more dangerous for the Wallabies. More predictable?
Possibly, but the Springboks have never done unpredictability well. Territory, set piece, hard kick chases, pressure. It is still a base game that is hard to defeat, especially if the Perth forecasters are right and there are showers and strong winds on Saturday.
There was nothing surprising about Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn focusing on the scrum as he prepared to depart with the squad at the weekend for what will be a testing Australasian leg of the Castle Lager Rugby Championship.
The scrumming was not the only area of concern for the Boks during the June internationals and in the two Championship matches against Argentina.
But it was an aspect that fell short both against Wales and the Pumas, and those who know the South African rugby psyche, will understand the ripple effect that the scrumming humiliation at the hands of Argentina in Salta would have sent through the team.
Jan Serfontein, Morné Steyn, Adriaan Strauss, Victor Matfield en Marcell Coetzee ín. Damian de Allende, Handré Pollard, Bismarck du Plessis en Lood de Jager uit.
Moenie verbaas wees indien Heyneke Meyer dié verrassende skuiwe maak in sy Springbokspan wat die Wallabies Saterdag in Perth in die Rugbykampioenskap pak nie.
It is understood that French-based players in the Springbok squad are unlikely to be available to play Scotland in next week’s Test in Port Elizabeth.
This means the likes of Morne Steyn, Gurthro Steenkamp, Bakkies Botha and Bryan Habana will all have to report back to their clubs.
It’s understood the clubs will invoke International Rugby Board (IRB) Regulation Nine, which governs the release of players for the June test window.
The regulation stipulates that releases are required for the second, third and fourth weekends of June, or for three matches.
South African coach Heyneke Meyer dished out a swipe at the ongoing criticism of Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn.
The 55-Test veteran was a pivotal player in the Boks’ 38-16 (5 tries to 1) demolition of Wales in Durban at the weekend, but still haven’t convinced his detractors that he is the real deal.
Not only did he produce a 100 percent goal-kicking performance (5 conversions and a penalty), but the 37 times he handled the ball he kicked just 10 times – with 21 passes and 6 runs.
The Bok coach, Meyer, pointed out that the high attrition rate among flyhalves makes Steyn an even more valuable asset to the national team.
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer is not worried about the lack of game time flyhalf Morné Steyn recently got in France.
It was widely reported that Steyn had struggled for form at his French club, Stade Francais, which led to him spending the majority of the past season on their bench.
However, Meyer says Steyn did not fall out of favour with the Paris-based club’s coaches.
“The overseas clubs manage our players carefully and most of them have a rotation policy,” Meyer was quoted as saying.
Expect Morné Steyn to return to do duty in the Springbok No 10 jersey later this year.
It is felt that no South African flyhalf has done enough in Super Rugby this year to convince Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer to replace his favourite No 10 for the upcoming Incoming Tests and Rugby Championship shortly thereafter.
The 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.
International news is flowing like a river in flood today, seems I have been updating all day, today… but we like it that way, don’t we!
Reviews of the Fourie du Preez try, clearly shows that Jaque Fourie was ahead of Fourie du Preez when he kicked, did not retreat and the subsequent try, however well-worked, should not have been awarded. Another blemish on refereeing in 2013!
Looking ahead at this weekend’s clash against Scotland, it appears at this stage if Bakkies Botha might get a starting berth at lock and it looks likely that Patrick Lambie will get the nod at flyhalf.
Meanwhile Morné Steyn is responding well to treatment for his back spasm injury and it looks likely that he’ll also be ready for Sunday’s match.
A barrage of news and speculation greets us early on a Monday morning after a power game against Wales by the Springboks, this past weekend.
Firstly, the match analysis… reports indicating that Team Management and leaders in the side are lauding Fourie du Preez for his Man Of The Match performance against Wales.
Secondly, it appears that the injury to Bok flyhalf Morné Steyn, who had to leave the field after only 18 minutes in the game is not serious, with a troublesome back spasm picked up in the pre-game warm-up blamed and the player taken off to prevent real injury.
Thirdly, with 1 win under the belt and 2 games remaining, the next one being against Scotland on Sunday, speculation is rife whether Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer will rest some weary players and pick a hand full of other players, to test new combinations against what should be South Africa’s weakest opposition on tour.
We will discuss the above under seperate headings below:
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer has named his team to face the Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.
Fourie du Preez makes a welcome return to the starting lineup at scrumhalf and Adriaan Strauss gets the nod at hooker, with Bismarck du Plessis set on the bench.
Springbok prop Jannie du Plessis is set to play his 50th Test which will see him and brother Bismarck achieve a special milestone.
Jannie du Plessis and flyhalf Morné Steyn will play their 50th Tests for the Springboks when they tackle Australia’s Wallabies at Newlands on Saturday.
It was a balmy Brisbane which greeted the Springboks on Sunday evening (Australian time) after a trip of more than 20 hours that started in Johannesburg on Saturday afternoon, included a stopover in Sydney and ended at their hotel in the Queensland capital.
The Springboks face Australia in the third round of The Castle Lager Rugby Championship at Suncorp Stadium on Saturday. Although the South Africans have not beaten the hosts at this venue in a Test, they will approach the game with a quiet confidence after two good wins over Argentina last month.
Stade Francais marked their return to the refurbished Jean Bouin stadium with a crushing 38-3 victory over Biarritz on Friday, as they provisionally moved to the summit of the fledgling Top 14 table.
There was much annoyance among Springbok fans when it was announced not long before South Africa’s test match against Argentina in the Rugby Championship that the release of Bryan Habana was required by his new club Toulon. This increased even more when it came to light that five of the players in the current Springbok Squad for the Rugby Championship were being ‘released’ to go back to their clubs in France while the rest of the players would return for a break to South Africa.
South African international flyhalf Morne Steyn revealed he would only start on the bench for Stade Francais in Friday’s Top 14 clash with Biarritz.
The 29-year-old – capped 47 times – only arrived from Argentina on Monday after helping the Springboks beat the Pumas 22-17 in a Four Nations Test.
The Springboks’ decision to continue with their overseas-based players had its first impact as the team arrived back in South Africa on Monday with no fewer than six members of the 26-man squad having to fly back to France to represent their clubs this weekend.
The Blue Bulls Company (Pty) Ltd is pleased to announce that Piet van Zyl has agreed terms and will join the Vodacom Bulls on a two year contract from November 1st, 2013.
The Pretoria-born 23 year old scrumhalf made his Springbok debut in 2013 following some very good performances for his Super Rugby franchise, the Toyota Cheetahs.
Die Vodacom Bulls se mees ervare speler nog, Mornè Steyn, is terug in die beginspan wat Saterdag op Loftus Versfeld teen die Sharks in ‘n Vodacom Super Rugby-wedstryd speel.
The South African Rugby Union (SARU) today announced that 15 players, including exciting youngsters such as Eben Etzebeth, Marcell Coetzee, Juan de Jongh and Pat Lambie and world stars such as Jean de Villiers, Tendai Mtawarira and Bismarck du Plessis, have been awarded Springbok contracts for 2013.
This article is written by a worried Bulls supporter. The heading could just as well read “Wake up Frans Ludeke” or “Frans fall on your sword please and save us this embarrassment”.
Bulls and Springbok flyhalf Morne Steyn has agreed to leave the Pretoria Super Rugby franchise and join Stade Francais.
Springbok and Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn says he has not received a formal offer from Top 14 club Stade Francais.
It seems as if the Bulls and Springbok flyhalf has made a deal to leave South Africa after Super Rugby to continue his career in France.
The 6th Article in the set discussing the Vodacom Bulls.
In this Article we look at the contenders for FLYHALVES in the Vodacom Bulls 2013 Super Rugby group, and what their worth will be in Super Rugby terms.
The latest news regarding Player Movements, the appointment of coaches and player movement miths set straight.
Some players are definately moving, some are extending their stay, some refute rumours of possible movement, whilst on the coaching side of things the John Mitchell saga carries on. The Crusaders also appoint 2 vital Assistant coaches for 2013.
You will find the news, item by item below:
Vodacom Blue Bulls player Mornè Steyn has been suspended for one week of rugby after being found guilty by a SARU Judicial Officer on Tuesday.
Morne Steyn’s indifferent performance against the All Blacks has increased the pressure on Bok coach Heyneke Meyer to start Johan Goosen at flyhalf.
Will simply recapturing his metronomic best place-kicking standards against Argentina at Newlands on Saturday be enough to cement Morne Steyn’s ongoing place in the Springbok side?
Springbok backline coach Ricardo Loubscher feels Pat Lambie’s future in the Springbok team lies in the flyhalf position.
The Vodacom Bulls scored the first four-try bonus point of the season on local soil in Bloemfontein on Saturday as they beat the Toyota Cheetahs 51-19 to move to the top of the table after two weeks of Vodacom Super Rugby action.
Bulls flyhalf Morné Steyn is set to become only the third player to amass 1 000 Super Rugby points, but admits it wasn’t high on his agenda.