Steyn has the 'X-factor'

De Villiers says centre's talent cannot be ignored

Last Updated: 09/11/10 5:15pm

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Steyn: Straight into starting line-up

Steyn: Straight into starting line-up

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Peter de Villiers says that the sheer talent of Francois Steyn meant he had no hesitation thrusting the centre into the starting line-up against Wales.

"There are two things you can't buy in rugby. You can't buy speed and you can't buy talent, and Frans has that speed and talent."
Peter de Villiers Quotes of the week

Steyn will come straight into the starting XV to replace Zane Kirchner for the Test at the Millennium Stadium on Saturday after only joining up with the squad on Monday.

His club side, Racing Metro, did not release him until after the weekend, leaving Steyn to miss the 23-21 victory over Ireland in Dublin.

But now he is available for selection again, De Villiers says he cannot leave the centre out of the starting XV despite the lack of training time with his international team-mates.

"You sit back and look at what a player is all about and if the talent is available you have to make use of it, you don't want to leave talented players on the bench," De Villiers said.

X-factor

"Frans has that X-factor that is much-needed in games. He is a player who may be average for 60 minutes, but over 80 minutes he can pull something out of the bag.

"At this stage, with the World Cup around the corner, there are many things that come into consideration.

"What we saw of Zane was what we expected of him, we were not tested a lot in that area (by Ireland) but we were happy with what he did.

"But Frans understands the defensive roles more as he has played the position more, and when a player like that comes back into the side he instils confidence in the players around him.

"There are two things you can't buy in rugby. You can't buy speed and you can't buy talent, and Frans has that speed and talent."

Partner

Steyn will form a partnership with Jean de Villiers in midfield, and the former Munster man is relishing linking up with the 23-year-old for the first time since 2008.

"With Frans being much more comfortable in the centre, Zane did a great job filling in there, but with the experience he brings it may mean we may change around a bit during the game," he said.

"He is a big physical boy at 110kg in the centre with great pace. But it will be tough, we know we are up against a great centre combination, they (Wales) haven't named their team but the guys they can select from are very strong.

"We have played together a lot, maybe not in a 12-13 combination, sometimes he has been in the centre with me on the wing or he has been at full-back.

"But we have played together in different positions and the understanding is there and hopefully we can build on that and enter the game full of confidence."

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