British & Irish Lions

Jesse Kriel hails Steyn 'twins' Springbok impact: 'They don't talk, they do'

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Jesse Kriel and Frans Steyn. (AFP)
Jesse Kriel and Frans Steyn. (AFP)
  • Jesse Kriel has hailed the influence of the two Steyns, Morne and Frans, as the Springboks aim to channel their experience effectively against the British & Irish Lions.
  • The midfielder believes the duo's greatest strength is their ability to keep words to a minimum and deeds to the maximum.
  • Kriel says he has no "unfinished business" after being injured early in the 2019 World Cup.

Just because they're two of the most grizzled members of the Springbok squad doesn't mean that the Steyns, Morne and Frans, are stealing the show in the national camp.

In fact, Jesse Kriel is inspired by the duo's commitment to letting their deeds to the talking as the highly-anticipated series against the British & Irish Lions creeps ever closer.

Fittingly, they are the only members of the extended group to have played in 2009's epic edition, where Morne Steyn notably announced himself to international rugby with a 52m, series-clinching penalty in the second Test at Loftus.

"When you look at the Steyns, there's the expectation that experienced guys would always be talking and giving advice," said Kriel, who's part of a midfield contingent that features Frans.

"It's definitely not the case. They just focus on doing the basic things really well and minimising their mistakes. To them, it's about setting an example. They set the standards at training and are fully committed.

"When some words are needed, they step up and make good contributions when necessary. They are the type of players I look up to and we make a point of following those standards."

Having missed out by a year to call Morne Steyn a team-mate at Loftus, Kriel now has the opportunity to play alongside him at the highest level - an enticing prospect personally because of how his enduring memory of the previous series is Steyn's impact.

"It's really special," he said.

"Back in 2009, I was still at school. I specifically remember that brilliant Jaque Fourie try and, of course, Morne's kicking. It's great to have Morne in the squad again."

Meanwhile, Kriel believes he has no "unfinished business" because he was one of the unlucky few to get injured in the World Cup triumph of 2019.

"Not at all. I had given everything until I got injured in the tournament. We were still part and able to contribute. We were never sidelined.

"This is a new, different series with another set of challenges. There’s no unfinished business from my side. I'm just ready to contribute in a positive way."     

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