Dream come true for Steyn
Morné Steyn has described his selection to the Springbok squad for the upcoming 2009 Lions Series as a dream come true.
Steyn, one of two uncapped players in the Bok squad of 28, will, in all likelihood, compete for the flyhalf berth with one of his old friends from Bloemfontein, Ruan Pienaar. The two played together at Fichardt Park Primary School as a very promising halfback combination.
They went their separate ways at high school, Steyn going to Sand du Plessis High School and Pienaar to Grey College, after which Steyn moved to Pretoria to play for the Bulls and Pienaar to Durban, where he represents the Sharks.
“Ruan [Pienaar] and I have come a long way since being together at junior school and we spoke about it today. Back then we already dreamt about one day playing together for the Springboks. It is a big dream come true and hopefully it can carry on for a while,” said Steyn.
“Joining the Bok camp on Monday was a great experience. All the guys were great and welcomed me and I hope it will be a good tour”.
Steyn admits that Bok selection was in the back of his mind as the Super 14 progressed and the Bulls’ performances improved. He was one of their best players and contributed massively with the boot in the knock-out stages of the competition, slotting five drops, eight conversions and three penalties for a total of 40 points in the semi-final and final.
In total, Steyn amassed 191 points during this year’s Super 14, making him the top points scorer in the competition. He scored 50 points more than Stephen Donald of the Chiefs, who was second on the list of points scorers.
“During the Super 14, it was in the back of my mind that I would like to play for the Boks. The game against the Sharks was a big turning point and the semi-final against the Crusaders was one of those matches that everything went right for me. The ball bounced in my favour and it was great,” he said.
Steyn, who played most of his senior rugby at the Bulls in the shadow of Derick Hougaard, adds that his career blossomed when he became the first-choice flyhalf, with Hougaard moving to the Leicester Tigers at the end of last season.
“It definitely made a difference to my game because I knew I was going to start every game and that the responsibility was on my shoulders. That made it much easier for me because I could concentrate on giving my best in each game,” said Steyn.
Following their extended involvement in the Super 14, all the Bulls players in the Bok squad have been given the week off.—Sapa