Frans Steyn looks set to be forced out of the Rugby World Cup because of a shoulder injury, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers told reporters in Auckland on Saturday morning.
De Villiers said the Springbok utility back had injured a shoulder in the 13-5 win over Samoa at the North Harbour Stadium on Friday night. “Frans Steyn is likely to go home,” said De Villiers. “His shoulder isn’t that good. The doctor will confirm it, but it’s 95 per cent sure that he’s on his way home and that is a big blow for us.”
The injury has to be confirmed by IRB medical staff before a replacement can be called into the squad. De Villiers said he was considering his options.
“It’s a question of what position we really need to cover most right now,” he said. “We’re not in immediate bother for any position but I still have to make a few calls.
“This is a blow to us. Frans has been playing really well and his goalkicking is a real asset but you could see straight after the game that he wasn’t right – he wasn’t the same bubbly, mischievous Frans that we normally see.
“On the other hand Jean de Villiers finished his first world cup game in three world cups so there is always a silver lining.”
De Villiers said that the injuries to wings Bryan Habana and Francois Hougaard fell into the bumps and bruises categories and that the players had been given a clear Saturday and Sunday to recover fully and recharge.
"Now is a new focus for us,” he said. “It's now about only one game, the only game that can either take you forward or stop you. We’ll sit back and clear our minds and watch the rugby and once Sunday night comes and we know who we’re playing we’ll be able to properly focus on the job at hand.”
De Villiers added that the first stage of the campaign had been successfully navigated, despite a tough draw: “When we beat Wales in Wellington by one point we achieved what we had wanted to prove, which is that we can win close games – and we did it again against Samoa. People call it winning ugly, but it’s much uglier if you lose those games!
“Our first goal is now achieved , we have got through the pool stage and it was tough. We could’ve lost games in this pool and been on our way home. But we were in the pool of death and we have scored 166 points and conceded only 24 and come through so we can be satisfied with that.”