Coach Erasmus did not invite Papier to the recent Bok alignment camp despite sporadic good performances by the scrumhalf.
“Not making the Bok alignment camp was a big disappointment for me but the focus is on the Bulls team,” Papier said. “If we do well, it becomes easier for me to make the Bok camp.
“Otherwise, I need to work on small details in my game like my kicking, passing and game management.”
Papier and fellow Bok Ivan van Zyl had made run-on starts on a rotational basis in the early parts of the season.
Andre Warner entered the fray earning selection ahead of the Bok halfbacks for the clashes against the Crusaders and this weekend’s match against the Rebels in Melbourne.
To ease the pressure on Papier, Bulls coach Pote Human left him out of the matchday 23 against the Waratahs to play in the Rugby Challenge instead to gain some confidence.
Papier returned against the Crusaders where he added some spark in the defeat, playing off the bench.
“Coach Pote dropped me to play SuperSport Challenge, and I think it helped me getting game time and getting my confidence back,” Papier said.
“It wasn’t like I tried to prove a point against the Crusaders, I just want to give my best every day and in every game.
“The role of any player sitting on the bench is not to go and make an impact, but to see in the game where their weaknesses are and when you get on exploit those areas.”
He will once again do duty as a replacement in the Bulls’ must-win clash against the Rebels in the opening match of their four-match tour of Australasia.
“The Rebels are a good team, they have good composure, from what I have seen they play with flow and rhythm with Quade Cooper and Will Genia (halfback combination),” Papier said. “We can put them under pressure and disrupt their rhythm and composure.”
The Bulls will be looking to kick off their tour on a winning note and keep their hopes of reaching the Super Rugby playoffs alive. They are currently second in the South African conference on 28 points, just one point behind the Sharks and four ahead of the Stormers in fifth place.
“We can do better by working on a few small things. We are still in the running to make the playoffs,” Papier said.@ockertde