’I definitely want to play for the Springboks’, says veteran Morne’ Steyn on possible Test return
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CAPE TOWN - “I threw all the pressure off me – there is no pressure on me about, ‘I must play for the Boks’, or ‘I’m fighting to play for the Boks’.”
And that is perhaps exactly why Bulls flyhalf Morne Steyn is back in the Test picture for South Africa.
Having played 66 Tests, the 36-year-old pivot would’ve thought his Springbok career was over after he played his last Test in 2016 – the disastrous 57-15 capitulation against the All Blacks in Durban.
Despite slotting five penalties on the day, Steyn missed a few tackles and had to implement the strange kick-based game plan employed by coach Allister Coetzee at the time.
After scoring 736 points – second only to Percy Montgomery’s 893 SA record – he wasn’t part of the Bok mix again … until now, when his sparkling performances for the Bulls since last September led to a call-up to an alignment camp a few weeks ago.
A possible Test cap has given Steyn, who will turn 37 in July, renewed vigour, as his career will have come full circle, having made his Test debut against the British & Irish Lions in 2009.
“We hope so. We are in the group and everything, so we hope for the best,” Steyn said from
Loftus yesterday ahead of Saturday’s Rainbow Cup SA Gauteng derby against the Lions at Ellis Park (3.30pm kickoff).
“I don’t think it’s (facing the British & Irish Lions again) something a person has bargained on, especially as I played my last Test in 2016.
“Now five years later, I could play another Test, and it could be for the second time against the British & Irish Lions. I think few people can say that in their rugby career.”
It is his relaxed manner that has seen Steyn blossom once more at his beloved Loftus , where he played a major role in the team’s three Super Rugby titles.
He is doing the same now in the rejuvenated Bulls set-up under Jake White, with two trophies already in the bag.
“I threw all the pressure off me – there is no pressure on me about ‘I must play for the Boks’, or ‘I’m fighting to play for the Boks’,” Steyn said.
“If it happens, it’s a bonus. I just came back here to enjoy my rugby for the last two or three years – with the way my body feels, it might be four years! You never know.”
And don’t think that he is not serious about playing Test rugby again …
“If you play for any union, the dream and the motivation will always be there to play for the Springboks,” Steyn said.
“I definitely want to play for the Springboks, and that’s one thing that motivates me to still play, and to be the best.
“I am a very competitive guy, so wherever I am playing, I want to be the best flyhalf on the field.
“I’m not (at) the Bulls to sit on the bench or to help the younger players.”