Faf de Klerk is just the scrumhalf the Springboks are looking for. Photo: Gavin Barker/BackpagePix
The scrumhalf position has been a big problem for the Springboks in recent years. Post the Fourie du Preez era there hasn’t really been any one player who’s claimed the No 9 jersey as his own.

There’s been Ross Cronjé  who didn’t even make the Bok squad this season  Rudy Paige and Faf de Klerk, and recently Ivan van Zyl, Cameron Wright and Embrose Papier have also been brought into the mix.

Lions star De Klerk caused a lot of excitement when he made his international debut two years ago, but he also quickly went from hero to villain in the terrible Bok season that was 2016.

And after being left out of the Springbok team entirely last year, De Klerk has since returned to Springbok country, and he has again been a stand out performer in the green and gold  this time against England.

His time with Sale Sharks has clearly done De Klerk good, and he’s been instrumental in the Boks’ series win over Eddie Jones’ team. But has it been enough to call the No9 jumper his?

There can be no doubt that there’s an exciting crop of young scrumhalves coming through, and Papier is perhaps at the forefront of that excitement. But if you look at De Klerk’s big contributions over the last few weeks, I think it’s safe to say that he has shown that he can be the man to steer the Boks at scrumhalf.

Ahead of their Test against Wales in Washington, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus said he was confident the problematic position could be fixed.

“There’s no problem with the potential of the players and the talent that’s going around.

“But there is a bit of a problem when it comes to having scrumhalves with experience and who have played a lot of matches for their franchises," he explained.

“But this is something we can fix, if we’re consistent in our selections up to the World Cup. If players are performing, we all need to be consistent then and select them.

“Getting Faf in brings steadiness. A guy like Embrose we need to back to 2023 ... he can learn a lot in the meantime. Then there’s Cameron, and Ivan has been consistent since getting into the starting line-up (at the Bulls). But there also a guy like Louis Schreuder who’s close as well.”

Erasmus was right; it can be fixed. I reckon De Klerk has started the fixing process, and he’s done a pretty good job.

His energy, huge work on defence, his snappy service, his tactical know-how and his ability to change a game have been a big part of the Boks’ success against England. And it can continue to play a part in their future Tests.

In De Klerk, the Boks might have found the solution to their scrumhalf problem. In fact, if you look at his outings against England, it can almost be said with certainty.


Weekend Argus

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