KSA Shark Β©

Frans, Ruan cover 7 positions

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark Β©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 29 May 2008 at 23:01

To date Peter de Villiers has been non-committal about what’s the best position for the multi-talented Frans Steyn who has been used by the Springboks in several backline positions during his 17-Test caps career.

News 24 reports that the Springbok coach has been equally reserved in his comment about the highly gifted Ruan Pienaar, who was compared to the great Australian match winning flyhalf Stepen Larkham by the World Cup winning coach Jake White.

“I’ll say I believe in both players. They both add value to the team,” said De Villiers. “Just how I see certain individuals and what positions are best for them, I’ll only say once I discuss the issues with the players.

“Only then will I air any kind of views in public.”

But it became patently clear on Thursday that Steyn will be slotting in as outside centre alongside Jean de Villiers in the upcoming Tests. That has been the primary midfield combination in the past two days at training sessions at the Danie Craven Stadium in Stellenbosch.

Backline versatility

The picture is not that clear about where Pienaar will fit in but it does not look like De Villiers will use him as a scrumhalf as Bolla Conradie was firmly in place at training this week as Ricky Januarie’s understudy.

De Villiers has made it clear that he will promote the concept of backline versatility because it will complement his game-plan for the Boks. He expects the players to be proficient in whatever position they may find themselves when play is moved through the phases.

And judging by the way Dick Muir juggled Steyn and Pienaar in the Sharks’ Super 14 season, De Villiers will find that the Springbok backline coach will promote his philosophy.

“I’d like to see players have the ability to execute moves effectively from fourth or fifth or even hundredth phase, no matter where they are given the ball on the field.”

Another regular feature which was again evident on Thursday was Conrad Jantjes at fullback in what looked like the Bok “A” team. Percy Montgomery was running on the opposite side in the midfield, rather than in an obvious fullback position.

Without apparent discomfort

Tonderai Chavhanga’s hamstring strain has mended faster than anticipated he ran without apparent discomfort on Thursday. Bryan Habana looked the part in the other wing position.

Butch James seems to have the flyhalf berth sewn up as Peter Grant was used in what was shaping up as the side from which the likely match day reserves will be chosen.

Captain John Smit selects himself at hooker and Gurthro Steenkamp and Brian Mujati look like being De Villiers’ choice for two other frontrow berths.

Lock Bakkies Botha did not train on Thursday as he returned home to attend to family business. He and Andries Bekker have been paired in most sessions and it looks like the world-class Victor Matfield may be destined for the bench.

It may De Villiers’ way of giving Matfield a break ahead of the Tri-Nations season, when the Boks won’t have the luxury of rotating players.

On the matter of loosies, De Villiers has shared his thoughts on how he intends using Pierre Spies and Ryan Kankowski, without saying which player he rated higher.

Pick of the blindside flanks

“I see Spies and Kankowski as specialist No8s,” said De Villers. “That’s where I’ll use them.”

Juan Smith looked the pick of the blindside flanks and Luke Watson is the only openside flank in the squad, after injuries to the incomparable Schalk Burger and Wikus van Heerden.

Joe van Niekerk who has been looking good at training all week could end up on the bench for the Wales Test as cover for the loosies.

At the end of Thursday’s training Montgomery and James practiced place-kicks under the watchful eye of Muir. Surprisingly, they were joined by Jean de Villiers who was on target with several attempts.

“I’ts nothing new. I’m used to kicking,” Jean de Villiers, retorted when asked if was going to share the kicking duties for the Boks.


  • KSA,

    You almost made my day. Thought Frans was covering (7) flank 😎

  • Comment 1, posted at 30.05.08 10:44:01 by Cru-El Reply
  • @Cru-El (Comment 1) : that’s what I thought too πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 2, posted at 30.05.08 10:45:34 by robdylan Reply
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  • :mrgreen:

  • Comment 3, posted at 30.05.08 10:58:31 by Cru-El Reply

  • I bet he could

  • Comment 4, posted at 30.05.08 11:01:07 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 4) :
    It’s his best position…

  • Comment 5, posted at 30.05.08 11:18:56 by Cru-El Reply

  • Did you guys see in the semi’s Frans was lifting Botes when receiving the kick-off… not that it helped.

  • Comment 6, posted at 30.05.08 11:55:50 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 6) : really? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 7, posted at 30.05.08 11:57:19 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 7) : Does he do it often? I’m not gonna lie, I’ve missed a few sharks games this year.

    Or is it that they hardly receive the kick off cause they do all the kicking? πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 8, posted at 30.05.08 12:15:35 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 8) : can’t say I’ve really noticed it… any chance you got Frans confused with Jannie? Same hairstyle, more or less…

  • Comment 9, posted at 30.05.08 12:18:04 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : You trying to insult my intelligence? Is it because I’m a girl?
    Screw you guys, I’m leaving!
    (this seems to be a trend)

  • Comment 10, posted at 30.05.08 12:19:37 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 10) : no – it’s cos you support WP πŸ˜‰

    BTW, the correct form is as follows (has to be in Afrikaans)

    FOK JOU ROBD! Jy’s die kakste ding wat ooit gebeur het op hirdie site. Fok jou! Ek loop nou!

    Or the alternative form:

    Ek noem jou DOOS, KSA!

  • Comment 11, posted at 30.05.08 12:29:24 by robdylan Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 10) :

    Is Molly serious? 😯 😯

  • Comment 12, posted at 30.05.08 12:34:41 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @Dive Pass (Comment 12) : I doubt it… I would really hope not πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 13, posted at 30.05.08 12:41:49 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : Steyn did lift Botes after the kick off. Maybe because he is a big oke.!!!!
    It looks like PDV have most of the sharkplayers as understudies… rather send them to present the Sharks in the CC and make the bulle almal bokke 😈 😈

  • Comment 14, posted at 30.05.08 12:49:16 by Reds Reply

  • @Reds (Comment 14) : ok – cool. Guess you learn something every day.

  • Comment 15, posted at 30.05.08 12:50:12 by robdylan Reply
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  • @Reds (Comment 14) :

    Now Rob no doubting her because she is woman hey!!!

  • Comment 16, posted at 30.05.08 12:52:46 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : See now, I would’ve done that but I would insult all afrikaans speaking peeps everywhere with my poor display.

    I’ll settle with DOOS!

    @Reds (Comment 14) : Thanks for backing me up, see, some girls do know a thing or two.

  • Comment 17, posted at 30.05.08 12:55:25 by molly Reply
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  • @Dive Pass (Comment 12) : Who am I kidding, I’m a sucker for punishment, besides, have you been to the iamastormer blog? Not much fun there.

  • Comment 18, posted at 30.05.08 12:56:24 by molly Reply
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  • @molly (Comment 17) : Pleasure πŸ˜‰ we know women rule!!!! 😈

  • Comment 19, posted at 30.05.08 12:56:32 by Reds Reply

  • @molly (Comment 18) : I’m always impressed when women post on the blog openly. Not like certain others who hide behind a male nomme-de-guerre πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 20, posted at 30.05.08 13:14:48 by robdylan Reply
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  • @robdylan (Comment 11) : aaaah good times 😎

  • Comment 21, posted at 30.05.08 13:27:32 by PJLD Reply
  • @PJLD (Comment 21) : brought a tear to my eye too πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 22, posted at 30.05.08 13:29:43 by robdylan Reply
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