- Bulls pivot Morne Steyn seemingly wants to use his duel with Elton Jantjies this weekend as a reminder to the Springboks that he still wants to add to his Test caps.
- The 36-year-old has been in fine form this season, making a potential international return realistic.
- Steyn praised the influence of Jantjies in the Lions setup and is looking forward to another battle with him.
Morne Steyn's expected duel at pivot with Elton Jantjies in Saturday's Currie Cup semifinal between the Bulls and Lions has, perhaps surprisingly to some, taken on some added significance.
As it turns out the 36-year-old veteran doesn't only merely want to show that he can still keep up with the incumbent Springbok flyhalf, he's hinted he still has ambitions to add to his 66 Test caps.
While Steyn's last appearance in the Green-and-Gold was back in 2016, when the Boks suffered an embarrassing 15-57 loss to the All Blacks in Durban, he technically hasn't retired from international rugby.
"It will always be a challenge. If you're playing rugby and you still don't want to be the best, then you should probably stop," he said on Monday.
"You always want to outshine your direct opponent. To be honest, whenever you're still playing your rugby in South Africa, the dream to play for the Springboks will always be there.
"I definitely haven't ever ruled myself out of playing for them again. So every game is actually an opportunity to prove myself again. It doesn't matter how many Tests you've played before, you're always here to be the best and play for your country."
Steyn has shot back to prominence following a superb Super Rugby Unlocked campaign, earning high praise from Jake White, the Bulls' director of rugby, and establishing himself as a viable option alongside the Sharks' Curwin Bosch to be Jantjies' understudy at national level, particularly in the absence of Handre Pollard.
"People tell me I play like I'm still 26, but the body doesn't always feel that youthful," he said with a chuckle.
"Yet the superb vibe here, a culture of excellence is helping me relive the good ol' days at Loftus and that helps to energise the body. It's holding up for now. We'll see what the plans are, maybe I'll even sign on for a year or two."
Another major contributing factor to his fine form is the fact that White has tailored a Bulls game-plan that maximises his strengths, an un-flashy puller of strings who only focuses on doing what he does best instead of still trying to add new strings to the bow.
"There are guys around me on the field that can create the magic. There's a calm skipper in Duane that runs things efficiently and a coaching staff that lays out the plan for you. There's nothing extraordinary that I have to do," said Steyn.
"There's no magic involved in my game-plan. I just do what I do best and make sure I do what's expected of me."
But before his mind drifts too far ahead, Steyn is simply relishing facing Jantjies this weekend.
"I'm really looking forward to playing against Elton. We always have a good battle against each other and he's been in fine form this season too.
"The Lions will come out with a bang. They have Elton who really does control things well for them tactically. It's going to be fun."