Springbok replacement Damian Willemse will cover flyhalf, centre and fullback when they tackle the British and Irish Lions at Cape Town Stadium on Saturday.
After losing the first Test 22-17, following a healthy 12-3 lead at the break, Bok coach Jacques Nienaber went for a six-two split on the bench.
That means Elton Jantjies is replaced on the sideline by a forward, leaving Willemse and scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies as the only two backline players in the match-day squad.
With Jantjies an out-and-out scrumhalf, Willemse effectively has to cover the rest of the backline. The possible exception is wing, with fullback Willie le Roux able to cover there in case of an emergency.
The 23-year-old Willemse hit the scene as a promising teen flyhalf, but says he doesn’t mind wearing the helese hats for the national team.
Asked about his new Frans Steyn-like role, he says: “I’ve been with the Springboks now and working with coach Jacques [Nienaber] and coach Rassie [Erasmus] a few years now –since 2018.
“I know the system, I’m used to the structures and everything. I’ve been playing 10 and 15 – not so much 12. “But being so familiar with the structures and the way we do things at the Springboks, as well as having a guy like Damian de Allende with me [in midfield] who I can learn from, helps me a lot.
“Now it’s just about taking my opportunity – the coaches are backing me, which is really important with them giving me the freedom to go out and play.
“The British and Irish Lions only come around once in a lifetime, it’s important for me to grab my opportunity and play with everything I have for my country.”
Asked what position he prefers to play in, Willemse adds: “Our [personal] goals and ambitions are never higher than Bok goals.
“I’m helping wherever I can, where the coach needs me... I’m lucky to be able to perform those roles. I’m enjoying it, anything to help the team.”