It will be a mistake if versatile Springbok back Frans Steyn is sidelined now, says Danie Gerber, one of the greats of South African rugby.
“Steyn has not come into his own at the Sharks this year because he has been shunted around too much,” says Gerber, these days the backline coach of the Elephants team.
“In the absence of Jaque Fourie, Steyn could have formed a good combination with Jean de Villiers, especially against Wales, who have big centres,” Gerber said on Tuesday.
“With Steyn at inside centre alongside Butch James, you would have had two big, strong players who will provide a presence on attack as well as defence,” the former Springbok centre explained.
“What I like about Steyn, is that he is willing to take risks. You don’t always know what to expect from him.
“He does make mistakes but with a cool-headed player such as De Villiers next to him, he can be a star.”
Michael Green writes in Die Burger that Gerber also expressed complimentary opinions about Adrian Jacobs, who is likely to partner De Villiers in midfield in the Bloemfontein Test against Wales on Saturday.
“Jacobs is a fine centre who did well every time the Sharks sent him on as substitute in Super 14 matches this year. He distributes the ball well and he runs good lines.”
Gerber did not watch the match between the Sharks and the Waratahs when Jacobs was a little below his best.
Structure at the Bulls
“He was not a regular in their starting line-up,” Gerber said. “One will have to see how effective he is in a full match.”
Gerber, who is not too sure about how fast Jacobs is, says he also rates Bulls centres Wynand Olivier and JP Nel, who have not really impressed this season.
“It may be that the structure at the Bulls does not allow them to play with more freedom,” he said.
“I’d like to see them – and most other South African centres – use their initiative and try something from time to time.
“It sometimes happens that a centre is so obsessed with securing a pre-planned phase that he fails to spot a gap or an opportunity to score a try.
“Game-plans are drilled into players to such an extent that try-scoring opportunities can be lost even when someone breaks the line – because no one has the anticipation to support him.”Tweet