The Springbok team pose for their official photo for Saturday's Test against Scotland. Photo: @Springboks via Twitter

Embrose Papier will face the biggest test of his short senior career on Saturday when he runs out in the No 9 jersey for the Springboks against Scotland at Murrayfield.

And having hardly had any game time for the Boks this year, the 21-year-old from Mamre in the Western Cape will be feeling the heat in the Edinburgh chill.

But there is absolutely no doubt about his talent, and coach Rassie Erasmus has spoken glowingly about his potential as a world-class halfback.

In one TV report, Erasmus said that Papier is in the mould of a Joost van der Westhuizen with the manner in which he is able to break around the fringes, and his pace across the ground.

Now his captain, Siya Kolisi, is backing his new scrumhalf to deliver at Murrayfield, where Papier will come up against a top-class No 9 in Scottish captain Greig Laidlaw.

“I think the guys around him are cool, experienced heads – Duane is at eight, and Handré at 10. And he has played with Handré, so I’m sure it’s not going to be something different,” Kolisi said at his captain’s press conference on Friday.

“He’s done really well when he has come on for us – he did so well against England. Makes a big difference. He is a running nine, which is awesome. I’m looking forward to seeing what he can do.

“We need to make sure that we as the forwards do our job, and make sure that he gets go-forward ball and that there’s not too much pressure. But if he is under pressure, he will be able to handle it – we’ve seen it in Super Rugby before.”

Papier has waited long enough for his big break. Now it’s up to him to prove that not only should get more game time for the Boks, but that he can even challenge Faf de Klerk for the No 9 jersey.


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