Kolisi, Nienaber hail evergreen Frans Steyn after Wales heroics: 'He's a great team man'

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Frans Steyn (Gallo)
Frans Steyn (Gallo)
  • Springbok captain Siya Kolisi said Frans Steyn showed his value in the team's 23-18 win against Wales in Cardiff.
  • Steyn said that he'd never lost a game in Cardiff.
  • Steyn had an extended run after Damian Willemse was injured.

Springbok captain Siya Kolisi praised Frans Steyn's performance in Saturday's 23-18 win against Wales, saying the veteran showed how playing opportunities should be taken.

Steyn, who came on early as a head injury assessment replacement for Damian Willemse, rolled back the clock with a performance that was reminiscent of his younger days at the Sharks.

Steyn had also cheekily, but honestly admitted in the post-match television interview that he had not lost in Cardiff. His lack of fear and lack of baggage came through as the Boks broke a long-standing curse.

The message that Steyn sent through his performance was not lost on Kolisi, who hopes the younger players will take a leaf from his book.

"He played very well and we've often seen that guys who get their opportunity to play take it with both hands," Kolisi said.

"It was exciting to see someone of that experience showing that kind of hunger and he gave it everything.

"It was the message of this game; taking the opportunities when they come and he was very good in most departments."

Steyn's performance was also given a thumbs up by coach Jacques Nienaber, who said his experience was invaluable in the terrible Cardiff conditions.

While Steyn will be 36 when the next World Cup rolls around in Paris, Nienaber said Steyn's lessons through his career will come in handy for the younger players in the team.

The Boks have exciting young fullbacks in Willemse, Aphelele Fassi and Warrick Gelant who have the ability to take their game to a higher level.

"I thought Frans did really well when he came on. It’s great to have a guy with so much experience, 72 Test matches and he has played lots of rugby in the northern hemisphere and is used to these conditions," Nienaber said

"When it started raining before the game, he was standing with a few of the outside backs and he gave them a few technical points. He has played quite a lot in this kind of weather.

"That’s the positive about having guys with that experience. He has been here and played in these games and made mistakes.

"Frans is at a stage in his career where he has a bunch of information and knowledge and he isn’t shy to share it. He is a great team man.

"We are going to be playing in these conditions in 2023, so that experience is really important for us."

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