School pals in Springbok battle

Springbok new boy Morne Steyn has found himself thrown into a difficult battle for the South African No 10 jersey against the British & Irish Lions. [more]

School pals in Springbok battle

Springbok new boy Morne Steyn has found himself thrown into a difficult battle for the South African No 10 jersey against the British & Irish Lions.

For while there is nothing more that the Bulls outside half would relish than to carry his amazing Super 14 form into the Castle Series after being announced in the 28 man squad, he knows his inclusion in the side could damage a long standing friendship.

The current incumbent of the Springbok No 10 shirt is the Sharks’ Ruan Pienaar, a player that Steyn gfrew up with in Bloemfontein and with whom he used to play at Fichardt Park Primary School

In those days they formed a very useful half-back partnership, with Pienaar serving his new rival in the Springbok set-up. Pienaar has made 13 appearances for the Boks at scrum half, but Peter de Villiers sees him as his chief playmaker in the No 10 jersey these days.

The two players parted company at High School and since those early days Steyn has joined the Pretoria-based Bulls and Pienaar has switched to Durban with the Sharks. That they are back together again, rivals for one place, but united in the Springbok cause as they seek to end 12 years of heartache by avenging their 2-1 Test defeat by the Lions in 1997.

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“Ruan and I have come a long way since being together at junior school and we spoke about it when we met up with the squad,” said Steyn.

“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.

“Joining the Bok camp was a great experience. All the guys were great and welcomed me and I hope it will be a good series.”

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