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Boost for Bulls’ flyhalf stocks as Morne Steyn joins United Rugby Championship party

Morne Steyn kicks the winning penalty for the Springboks against the British and Irish Lions. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Morne Steyn kicks the winning penalty for the Springboks against the British and Irish Lions. Picture: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

Published Oct 12, 2021

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Cape Town - Springbok flyhalf Morné Steyn left South Africa on Monday night to join up with his Bulls teammates for the last match of their United Rugby Championship tour against Edinburgh on Saturday.

Steyn has been on a break, like the rest of the Boks who were part of the squad on the Rugby Championship trip to Australia, which lasted over five weeks.

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The 37-year-old pivot did not see any action on the pitch Down Under, though, as Bok coach Jacques Nienaber relied on Handre Pollard as his starting flyhalf and Elton Jantjies on the bench.

So, the last time Steyn played was as a replacement against Argentina in a 32-12 victory on August 14 at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Gqeberha.

He was on holiday in Cape Town with his family last week, and according to his Instagram page, he attended a wedding in Stellenbosch at the weekend.

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Bulls president Willem Strauss tweeted about Steyn's call-up on Monday night: "Morné Steyn is flying out tonight! Well done Edgar (Rathbone, Bulls chief executive)."

But current Bulls No 10 Johan Goosen sustained a serious-looking knee in the 15th minute of last weekend's 29-19 victory over Cardiff in Wales.

Goosen tried to change direction with a side-step, but went down and clutched his left knee.

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Bulls coach Jake White suggested that the 4G synthetic pitch at Cardiff Arms Park played a role in the incident, and said afterwards that he was "not a fan" of the surface.

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But now he will hope Steyn can provide a comforting presence, at least off the bench, against Edinburgh on Saturday (6.15pm SA time kickoff), which will also be played on a 4G pitch at the DAM Health Stadium.

Chris Smith is likely to start at flyhalf, after an assured performance as a replacement for Goosen against Cardiff.

The extent of Goosen's knee injury is set to be announced today.

@ashfakmohamed

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