Morne Steyn. Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Morne Steyn. Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Why Morne Steyn is the obvious choice to face Lions at ten

Morne Steyn should be the first choice Springbok flyhalf for the upcoming series against the British and Irish Lions.

Morne Steyn. Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Morne Steyn. Photo by Anton Geyser/Gallo Images

Since returning to South African rugby, Morne Steyn has re-established himself as the pre-eminent flyhalf in the country.

With Handre Pollard still trying to find his feet after returning from injury, it now seems like Steyn is the obvious choice to don the Springboks number ten jersey.

Morne Steyn is tops among SA-based 10s

Steyn won the battle of the tens against Curwin Bosch on Saturday night, and the 36-year-old is in arguably the form of his life right now.

While he isn’t the most exciting option, Steyn has added dimensions to his game since he last pulled on a Springbok jersey. He doesn’t have the step and running game of Bosch or Pollard’s RWC understudy Elton Jantjies, but he is more than capable of unleashing attacking forces around him with his passing and kicking game.

Springbok flyhalf Morne Stey
Morne Steyn of the Springboks in action during the The Rugby Championship match between South Africa and Australia at Loftus Versfeld on October 01, 2016 in Pretoria, South Africa. (Photo by Lee Warren/Gallo Images/Getty Images)

Pollard yet to prove form and fitness

Pollard remains the undisputed first choice, but even a player of his calibre should have the task of proving their form and fitness before a series against the British and Irish Lions.

The incumbent Springbok outside half is also playing his rugby for a Montpellier team fighting for Top 14 survival rather than trophies.

Steyn might, therefore, be a better option to start in the series against the British and Irish Lions. On top of being in great form, Steyn also has the experience of beating the Lions before.

Morne Steyn
Montpellier’s South African fly half Handre Pollard (C) lies injured during the French Top 14 rugby union match between Racing 92 and Montpellier on September 11, 2020 at the U Arena in Nanterre, near Paris. (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Bold isn’t the word that comes to mind when thinking of the Bulls veteran flyhalf, but his steady performances when it matters might move him up the pecking order.

More tests ahead for Morne Steyn

The Bulls will face the tourists two weeks before the first Test, and that match might just be the point at which the Springbok brain trust decide who will command the team from flyhalf. A South Africa ‘A’ team will also tackle the Lions four days later, but it would be a surprise to see Steyn deployed in that fixture, with Bosch likely to be favoured for that game if fit. 

Steyn should, at the very least, crack the nod for the Springbok squad and might even convince Jacques Nienaber and Rassie Erasmus that he can marshall the world champions to victory over the Lions.

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