Former Bok centre: Balance better with Steyn off bench

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Frans Steyn (Gallo)
Frans Steyn (Gallo)

Cape Town - Former Springbok centre De Wet Barry believes that Frans Steyn will serve the Boks best by playing off the bench.

The 32-year-old Steyn is now firmly back in the national set-up after over a year out and is now expected to form part of Rassie Erasmus' squad for the 2019 World Cup in Japan, which gets underway in September. 

He played off the bench in the 35-17 win over Australia on July 20 and in the 16-16 draw against the All Blacks in Wellington this past weekend coming on at inside centre, but Steyn's flexibility and versatility means that he can also play at fullback or flyhalf. 

He gives Erasmus a lot of options, but Steyn's likeliest inclusion in the Springbok starting line-up still seems to be through the No 12 jersey. 

Barry, however, believes that Steyn could make more of an impact off the bench.  

"If you look at the bigger picture, I think the balance might be better with Frans on the bench," Barry, who played 39 Test matches between 2000 and 2006, told Netwerk24

"He can come on towards the end and land you a 50m or 60m penalty."

Barry is also a "big fan" of De Allende, and while he would like to see him be used as more than just a battering ram, he understands the importance of the role in Test rugby. 

"In Test rugby it's all about winning," he said.

"If it's your role to crash the ball up and lay a foundation for your team, then that's what you do."

The other man in the running for the No 12 jersey currently is Sharks centre Andre Esterhuizen, who linked up with the Boks in Auckland this week. 

South Africa are next in action when they travel to Salta to take on Argentina on August 10. 

If they win that match with a bonus point, they will win their first Rugby Championship title since 2009. 

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