Frans Steyn, Coenie ruled out of Test

2012-09-29 00:00

THE Springboks suffered two late blows yesterday when inside centre Frans Steyn and the highly-rated prop Coenie Oosthuizen, who was on the bench, withdrew from this evening’s Test against the Wallabies at Loftus Versfeld.

Steyn injured an ankle at training on Monday and, while he was expected to recover, he failed a late fitness test yesterday.

Captain Jean de Villiers will shift from outside to inside centre — where he has played most of his Test rugby — while the young Lions utility back Jaco Taute will make his Test debut at 13.

Juan de Jongh takes Taute’s place on the replacement bench.

Replacement prop Oosthuizen, who returned to Currie Cup action last weekend after suffering a neck injury, complained of stiffness on Monday. He was also expected to recover, but it was decided yesterday to rest him and Pat Cilliers replaces him on the bench.

De Villiers, in his pre-Test media briefing yesterday, said the players were constantly looking to improve their game plan.

The Boks have been consistently criticised for their one-dimensional attacking play, but De Villiers said the game plan was constantly being tweaked.

“I agree that much of our game plan is based on playing in the opposition’s half, but we do try and get the ball into space when the opportunities arise.”

He said there was an ongoing process of analysis in the squad.

“We aren’t closed to making changes if they will improve us. We really do believe we’ve improved over the last two Tests.

“We haven’t got the results we’ve wanted for a number of reasons, but we’re on the right track,” De Villiers said.

The Bok captain said the Boks’ record against the Wallabies — seven losses in their last eight meetings — was unacceptable and the players were determined to end the disappointing run.

“Six of the seven games were lost by the team that represented us in the World Cup quarter-final.

“This team has inherited that record and our job is to turn that around,” De Villiers added.

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