Frans is flexible

Francois Steyn is happy to play wherever Jake White needs him in the Springbok backline.

The 19-year-old made his Test debut on the left wing in Dublin last weekend, having switched between flyhalf and fullback for the Sharks during the Absa Currie Cup. However, he will return to the No 15 jersey at Twickenham, with Bryan Habana and Akona Ndungane on the wings, and Bevin Fortuin warming the bench.

While most players hate being shifted all over the place — just ask Brent Russell — Steyn is not about to start complaining after just one Test.

“I don’t mind where I play,” he tells keo.co.za. “Each position is unique and has different demands. I enjoyed playing wing against Ireland, but am looking forward to starting at fullback against England. I played there regularly during the Currie Cup, so it shouldn’t be too much of an adjustment.”

Steyn was by far the Boks’ best back in Dublin, scoring a try in the left-hand corner and setting up Habana’s late score after running across-field towards the right-hand touchline and putting his team-mate into space.

“I just had to catch the ball and run over,” says a modest Steyn of his first five-pointer in international rugby. “Danie [Rossouw] timed his pass to perfection, so a lot of credit must go to him.

“I was quite nervous before the Ireland game, but the other guys helped to calm me down. Now I just want to build on that performance and have a good tour.”

Meanwhile, Jake White has boosted Steyn’s hopes of going to France next year.

“Frans is definitely in our World Cup plans after his performance against Ireland,” said the Bok coach. “One of the great things about this tour is that it’s allowed us to test other players and increase the depth of Springbok rugby. We can now add Frans to our list of wingers.”

By Simon Borchardt, in London