Peter plays cards close on Frans

Frans Steyn will be fit for the first Test but Peter de Villiers refused to say whether he will be used primarily as a fullback.

Springbok conditioning coach Neels Liebel confirmed the Sharks’ trio of Steyn, Ruan Pienaar and Deon Carstens are on the road to recovery. Come the Test at King’s Park, they will be 100% ready.

Pienaar remains De Villiers’s first-choice flyhalf despite minimal game time this season, but the use of Steyn is still unclear. Given Pienaar has a monopoly on the 10 shirt and Jean de Villiers is likely to partner one of Adi Jacobs or Jaque Fourie in midfield, the only vacancy is at fullback.

It’s a position Steyn has played with some success at Test level. But when asked about Steyn’s role in the Bok set-up, the coach wasn’t giving anything away.

‘We have a lot of time before the first Test, so we will use that time to make our decision.’

De Villiers said the same of Earl Rose, who has floated between flyhalf and fullback since the start of his career. De Villiers has also mentioned JP Pietersen and Fourie as options, but neither possess a particularly sound kicking game.

Steyn would be the best option because of his prodigious line-kicking ability, and of course, his drop-kicking talent from long range.

By Jon Cardinelli, in Johannesburg