Springboks' Frans Steyn has eyes on Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup winner Frans Steyn was a bag of nerves before returning to the South Africa side in their 35-17 Rugby Championship victory over Australia, as he targets a late push for a place in the Springboks' World Cup squad.

Steyn lifted the Webb Ellis Cup in France 12 years ago, but has just 56 caps in 13 years after being in and out of the side at the whim of coaches and sometimes himself. This was his first appearance since June 2017.

But his experience and versatility is attractive to Springboks coach Rassie Erasmus, who selected Steyn last year, only for the Montpellier player to withdraw from the squad with injury.

"I was nervous," Steyn said after a 30-minute appearance off the bench at Emirates Airline Park.

"My wife was pacing up and down at the hotel before we left for the game. Watching her made me nervous.

"When we started to warm up at Ellis Park, I calmed down a little bit."

Steyn can play flyhalf, fullback and inside centre, but he believes the latter position is his best as he looks forward to making up for past disappointments in a career that has perhaps not seen him fulfill his rich potential.

"I've been around and I've had my bad years," Steyn said.

"Careers have ups and downs. It's one of those things. Mine has gone up and down, as everybody in this room knows.

"I'm actually happy that I didn't start against Australia, because I've been in the squad for just two weeks and I'm still trying to get used to all the structures.

"I can't say we don't get coached that well in France, but Rassie and his team have really stepped up. They've done a great job."

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Steyn said that he was not sure where he stood in terms of World Cup selection, but the fact the Boks beat Australia with essentially a second-string side shows the depth in the squad.

"Two years ago, who would have thought we would beat Australia like this? I was sitting in France, and I wouldn't have predicted this, even if I was in the squad.

"It's just unbelievable what Rassie and SA Rugby have done. It's unbelievably special for the players."

Steyn is expected to link up with the Boks who are already in New Zealand for Saturday's Rugby Championship clash as Erasmus takes a 34-man squad to Wellington.

"It will be a massive game. We'll have to wait and see if I get picked. If I don't play, I'll be there supporting the guys who do.

"If I play, I'll try my best. During my time here there probably will be some screw-ups. But I'll do my best."