Steyn starts at fly-half for Springboks
July 25, 2009
South Africa replacement Morne Steyn kicks the injury-time winning penalty at his home ground, South Africa v British & Irish Lions, Loftus Versfeld, Pretoria, South Africa, June 27, 2009
Morne Steyn starts at fly-half for South Africa © Getty Images

Morne Steyn will start at fly-half for South Africa against the All Blacks in Durban on Saturday, the Bulls pivot replacing the injured Ruan Pienaar.

Pienaar was replaced at half-time in the Springboks' victory over New Zealand in Bloemfontein last weekend, and his ankle injury has caused coach Peter De Villiers to err on the side of caution this weekend.

Steyn will make his first Tri-Nations start, having made his debut against the British & Irish Lions in May. His long-range penalty won the second Test for the Springboks and he secured his first start in the third Test loss at Ellis Park.

The rest of the starting XV remains unchanged, but there are returns on the bench for centre Adi Jacobs and lock Andries Bekker.

Jacobs replaces Steyn on the bench, meaning that there is only one specialist fly-half in the 22, while Bekker slots in ahead of Sharks No.8 Ryan Kankowski.

Wing Bryan Habana and centre Jean de Villiers will win their 50th caps in the game, while skipper John Smit will lead the side out for a record 60th time.

All Blacks coach Graham Henry praised Steyn's kicking prowess, joking that the IRB should reduce penalties from one point to three before taking on a more serious tone.

"Seriously, he is a very good kicker of the ball - one of the best in the world, if not the best in the world right now," he said. "I think he might kick the ball a bit more (than Pienaar), he will play in the pocket a bit more so he has got the opportunity to kick it - a bit more time."

South Africa: Frans Steyn, JP Pietersen, Jaque Fourie, Jean de Villiers, Bryan Habana, Morné Steyn, Fourie du Preez, Tendai Mtawarira, Bismarck du Plessis, John Smit (capt), Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Heinrich Brüssow, Juan Smith, Pierre Spies

Replacements: Chiliboy Ralepelle, Jannie du Plessis, Andries Bekker, Danie Rossouw, Ricky Januarie, Adi Jacobs, Wynand Olivier


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