Cape Town – Having played just 25 minutes of international rugby in 2015, Morne Steyn has been given a Springbok lifeline.
The 31-year-old was on Thursday named on the bench in Allister Coetzee’s match-day 23 for Saturday’s second Test against Ireland at Ellis Park.
The SOS to Steyn came this past weekend after Pat Lambie was concussed in the first Test against Ireland in Cape Town.
Elton Jantjies is the natural replacement for Lambie, but Coetzee felt that it was not quite time to give Garth April – the third-choice flyhalf in Coetzee’s original Bok squad – a call-up.
“I said it from the start when I was appointed that the reason why I brought in Garth April was to make sure that he develops as a player,” Coetzee said at Thursday’s team announcement.
“I wouldn’t want to select overseas-based players as a number three (third choice) … only one and two.
“When I wake up tomorrow morning and Elton Jantjies is not well, who do I fall back onto? At least I have Morne Steyn who has done it, he’s been there.”
Steyn’s experience, according to Coetzee, will provide a calming influence.
“It will give the team confidence and everyone confidence in the set-up,” the coach said.
“He’s been there with the Springboks for the last four years so it’s nothing new to him.
“I know there’s an expectation that youngsters must play, but you can also destroy youngsters and there’s a way of blooding young talent.”
Steyn has played 60 Tests for the Boks and is the second highest points scorer in South African rugby history behind Percy Montgomery.
15 Willie le Roux, 14 JP Pietersen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Lwazi Mvovo, 10 Pat Lambie, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Siya Kolisi, 6 Francois Louw, 5 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Adriaan Strauss (captain), 1 Tendai Mtawarira
Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Julian Redelinghuys, 19 Franco Mostert, 20 Warren Whiteley, 21 Rudy Paige 22 Morne Steyn, 23 Ruan Combrinck
15 Jared Payne, 14 Andrew Trimble, 13 Robbie Henshaw, 12 Stuart Olding,
11 Craig Gilroy, 10 Paddy Jackson, 9 Conor Murray, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7
Rhys Ruddock, 6 Iain Henderson, 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Devin Toner, 3 Tadhg
Furlong, 2 Rory Best (captain), 1 Jack McGrath
Substitutes: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Dave Kilcoyne, 18
Finlay Bealham, 19 Donnacha Ryan, 20 Sean Reidy, 21 Kieran Marmion, 22
Ian Madigan, 23 Tiernan O’Halloran