Boks drop Morne Steyn for Wallabies
September 26, 2012
Johan Goosen will start for the Springboks on Saturday © Getty Images
Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has handed Johan Goosen his first Test start and has dropped fly-half Morne Steyn ahead of their match with Australia at Loftus Versveld on Saturday.
Goosen's inclusion is one of three changes from the side that lost to the All Blacks a fortnight ago with Eben Etzebeth and Andries Bekker also handed starts. Morne Steyn's relegation to the bench comes despite Meyer reiterating his support for the under-fire fly-half in the past couple of days. He is struggling with form at the moment and missed 11 points from the boot against the All Blacks.
The team also sees four changes to the bench with Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Elton Jantjies and Jaco Taute all included. Taute may yet start in the first XV if Frans Steyn fails to recover from an ankle injury.
But the main headlines will be taken by Meyer's decision to drop Steyn and promote Goosen. Meyer said: "I've maintained from the outset that I won't rush Johan, but I feel he is now ready to start a Test for South Africa and I'm excited to see what he can bring.
"Morné [Steyn], in the last four seasons, has played close to 140 matches at Test, Super Rugby and Currie Cup level and probably deserves a break, but this also provides a great opportunity for Johan, a player I rate very highly. Morné is a quality player and a fighter and I know he will bounce back."
South Africa: Zane Kirchner, Bryan Habana, Jean de Villiers, Frans Steyn/ Jaco Taute, Francois Hougaard, Johan Goosen, Ruan Pienaar, Tendai Mtawarira, Adriaan Strauss, Jannie du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth, Andries Bekker, Francois Louw, Willem Alberts, Duane Vermeulen
Replacements: Tiaan Liebenberg, Coenie Oosthuizen, Flip van der Merwe, Marcell Coetzee, Elton Jantjies, Jaco Taute/ Juan de Jongh, Pat Lambie
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in a fiery East Midlands derby and all the action from the Aviva Premiership and Top 14
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton