Frans Steyn has told Springbok coach Peter de Villiers he would prefer to be considered only as flyhalf for the South African rugby team; not as a wing, centre or fullback.
Hennie Brandt reports in Beeld that the versatile young Springbok back and De Villiers have had a frank discussion and now know exactly where they stand in relation to each other.
“Frans indicated that he would like to be considered for the flyhalf position,” De Villiers confirmed on Thursday.
Steyn played on the wing and at centre and fullback when Jake White coached the Springboks.
He was one of the stars at the 2007 World Cup tournament after taking over in midfield from injured Jean de Villiers.
“It’s not about me, but about the player,” De Villiers said. “If a player says he wants to play in a certain position, it’s no problem. I am here to help the players.
“But Frans will have to understand where he fits in. He must know which player has been selected ahead of him and why it happened. Then he must work on his shortcomings.
“Who knows what will happen at the end of the year, or when the World Cup tournament starts. I think he can be a good flyhalf,” the coach said.
Asked whether he would consider the 21-year-old Steyn only for the flyhalf position, De Villiers said, “I won’t be as rigid as that. Frans knows he will have to help out in other positions at times.
“But I will, as far as possible, try to consider him only for the flyhalf position.”
The coach feels Steyn does not have to look beyond Springbok flyhalf Butch James to find a good mentor.
James performed well in the World Cup tournament and was a star when South Africa beat Wales in Bloemfontein last week.
“Frans won’t find a better teacher than Butch,” De Villiers said. “He should ask Butch why and when a flyhalf does certain things during a match. He must learn from Butch.
“Frans is still young and could be with us for the next eight years.”
Steyn’s request to be considered as flyhalf only may have cost Peter Grant his place in the SA squad for the second Test against Wales in Pretoria on Saturday.
Grant was the substitute flyhalf in Bloemfontein but Steyn has been given the No 21 jersey for the Loftus Versfeld match.Tweet