South Africa: Frans Steyn sets sights on making Springbok World Cup squad

David Skippers
Frans Steyn SA v Argentina Rugby Championship 2022 - PA.jpg francois steyn

Although he insists he’s not thinking about it yet, veteran Springbok utility back Frans Steyn has revealed he is determined to play at the Rugby World Cup in France later this year.

The 35-year-old, who lifted the William Webb Ellis trophy as part of victorious Bok squads in France in 2007 and Japan in 2019, said he is fully focused on playing for the Cheetahs at the moment but would love to represent South Africa at the global showpiece for the fourth time after also featuring at the 2011 World Cup in New Zealand.

“It’s a long way away, and I’m fully focused on the Cheetahs. I want to try and get into the team to play Toulon [in the European Challenge Cup play-offs] and then have a good Currie Cup,” Steyn told BokSquad.

“I can’t say I’m going to the World Cup and this is what I’m going to do there, it doesn’t work like that. To be selected for the Springbok squad, you need to be on form, so I must play well for the Cheetahs.

“There are a lot of young guys who are playing well at the moment, and if they are better than me, I’m happy for them to go represent us at the World Cup and make us proud. But I’m going to give it my best shot.”

Tough Challenge Cup assignment

The 78-Test veteran, who can play at full-back, inside centre and fly-half, helped the Cheetahs to reach the Challenge Cup’s round of 16 where they are set to take on European heavyweights Toulon at Stade Felix Mayol on April 1.

Steyn expects a difficult assignment against the three-time Champions Cup winners but believes the Cheetahs could spring a surprise against their French opponents.

“It’s not going to be easy, but things might just be in our favour,” he said. “We play them at a time when French clubs are still making the adjustment from playing in winter to being able to throw the ball around a bit more.

“Toulon’s team for this game will depend on where they are on the Top 14 table [currently ninth, three spots outside the playoffs] and who they play in their match after us [Perpignan at home two weeks later].

“If they’re out of the race for the Top 14 play-offs, they may gun for the Challenge Cup, but I feel they’ve got a big enough squad to gun for both tournaments, and it doesn’t really matter if you play their A or B team.”

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