Who will play number 10 for the Springboks?

It goes without saying that South Africa is known as a rugby powerhouse. As the current reigning world champions, the Springboks have won the Rugby World Cup three times, first in 1995, again in 2007 and most recently in 2019. According to the World Rugby Rankings, they’re also the second most successful rugby union nation. In fact, South Africa has occupied the number one rank for 20% of the time since the rankings began in 2003.

Despite their success, every team has its own difficulties and in 2022, the Springboks are no exception. According to a recent article by RugbyPass, there’s a highly contested debate about who will play number 10 for the Springboks. Here we analyse these predictions and take a closer look at the number 10 candidates.

Handre Pollard

Pollard is the Springbok fly-half whose talent helped South Africa achieve their third World Cup victory in 2019. However, after recovering from a knee injury during the Rugby Championship, it seems Pollard has limped off the field once again.

He suffered another injury to his knee just 27 minutes into his debut match with the Leicester Tigers, with the Saracens thrashing the Tigers 51-18. Sadly, with his history of knee troubles, this fresh injury could leave Pollard out of the running, both for number 10 and the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Frans Steyn

The Springboks called on Frans Steyn to wear the number 10 jersey in their Championship match against Argentina, making it the first time he’d done so since 2008. While Steyn has a somewhat limited history as a fly-half, he scored nine points during the game, steering South Africa towards their 38-21 victory.

However, just like Pollard, Steyn has suffered a knee injury which has put him out of the running for number 10. He injured his knee while playing for the Cheetahs and the Springboks have confirmed that he has been ruled out of at least four upcoming matches.

Johan Goosen

Goosen suffered a terrible knee injury during the 2021 United Rugby Championship and recently returned to the field after 11 months out. While he last played for the Springboks in 2016, many are wondering if Goosen could be the man to wear the number 10 jersey.

As it stands, things look promising for Goosen. Despite the long break, he was the only fly-half selected for the 26-player Stellenbosch training camp, which sets him in good standing to play number 10 for the Springboks.