Cape Town - Former national coach Nick Mallett feels Springbok scrumhalf Rudy Paige needs to add an attacking dimension to his game if he is to be successful at Test level.
The 27-year-old Paige, who boasts five Tests caps, started in the Springbok No 9 jersey for last week’s friendly match against the Barbarians at Wembley Stadium.
He is again expected to start against England at Twickenham this weekend.
Mallett, speaking on SuperSport’s TMO programme on Tuesday night, said he would like to see Paige do more with ball in hand.
“His passing has always been good, he’s got a quick service, he gets to the ball quickly, but he doesn’t threaten the first or second defender. We’ve seen time and time again that you’ve got to keep those guys honest,” said Mallett.
Ireland scrumhalf Conor Murray scored a brilliant individual try in his side’s shock win over the All Blacks in Chicago at the weekend when he broke through at a ruck.
And Mallett would like to see that from Paige as well.
“Conor Murray scored a great try against New Zealand when he went past the first defender. If you just pass from the base, pass from the base, then the guys start shifting off you and it makes it very hard for your No 10 to create space for the outside backs.
“He’s (Paige) come from the Bulls and the Bulls really have used him as a kicking scrumhalf and a clearing from the base scrumhalf. They haven’t really used him as a breaking scrumhalf as such.. so he concentrates on his core skills, but it is a weakness of his in my view, in that he doesn’t threaten the gain line.
“And as we all know, if a scrumhalf makes a break close to the fringes it’s almost always a try because he’s behind 12 defenders and you’ve got 14 attackers who can support him,” Mallett concluded.