9 Aug 2010

Steyn given Springbok lifeline

5:53 am on 9 August 2010

Fullback Francois Steyn's international rugby career looks set to be resurrected after he was included in a 29-man Springbok training squad for the home leg of the Tri-Nations.

The 23-year-old, a key member of the 2007 World Cup-winning South African side, last played for the Springboks against Wales in June before falling out with coach Peter de Villiers.

With the Springboks having lost all three of their away games in the Tri-Nations, De Villiers has been forced to add some flair to a squad that has laboured since winning the Southern Hemisphere's premier competition last year.

De Villiers has also recalled stalwart flanker Juan Smith and World Cup-winning wing JP Pietersen in an effort to stem the slew of losses and a rising tide of adverse public opinion at home.

Despite the poor run of results, the bulk of the squad that toured New Zealand and Australia last month have been retained, with lock Andries Bekker and halfback Ruan Pienaar unavailable due to injury and lock Bakkies Botha suspended.

The Springboks play the All Blacks in Soweto on August the 21st, before facing Australia in Pretoria on August the 28th and Bloemfontein on September the 4th.