Erasmus excited by 'lightning fast' Papier

2018-06-22 09:49
Embrose Papier (Gallo)

Cape Town - He is still just 21-years-old and is in his first full season of Super Rugby with the Bulls, but already Embrose Papier is a Springbok. 

His debut came in the 22-20 loss to Wales in Washington at the start of the month, and now he will be given another opportunity in the green and gold when the Boks take on England in the third and final Test at Newlands on Saturday. 

Papier will play off the bench behind the in-form Faf de Klerk. 

Bulls coach John Mitchell made a massive call at the start of the season when he ditched Bok scrumhalf Rudy Paige from his Super Rugby squad, opting instead for youthfulness and pace. 

At the time, Mitchell spoke about how highly he rated Papier, saying that he saw the youngster turning into a world class scrumhalf in the future. 

While there is still a long way to go before any of that starts taking shape, Erasmus seems to be on the same page as Mitchell. 

The Bok transformation targets cannot be ignored - Erasmus has said as much - and if South Africa are to take a squad that is made up of 50% players of colour to next year's World Cup in Japan, then they need to give players opportunities to either succeed or fail in national colours before that tournament. 

There is no doubt that Papier could benefit from more Super Rugby - he is not considered the No scrumhalf at the Bulls yet - but the unique South African climate means that he is given a crack at the highest level immediately. 

According to Erasmus, all the right ingredients are there, with speed standing out as one of Papier's most dangerous weapons. 

"Embrose is a guy that I'm very excited about, especially when the game opens up," Erasmus said.

"He is lightning fast, probably one of the fastest guys in the team. In that I include Aphiwe (Dyantyi), S'bu (Nkosi), Jesse (Kriel) and everybody ... he's really lightning fast.

"He can speed up the game.

"Obviously at his age he has some work-ons in terms of his passing and box kicking, but he tackles really well and understands the defence system and is a natural attacker."

Erasmus applauded Mitchell's management of Papier so far this season, with the halfback having moved fluidly between the Super Rugby squad and the SuperSport Challenge team. 

"I think the way that Mitch has been grooming him has helped a lot," said Erasmus.

"He is going to make some mistakes tomorrow, but there is a lot of energy, speed and enthusiasm there."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:05


South Africa

15 Warrick Gelant, 14 S'bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Andre Esterhuizen, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Faf de Klerk, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Chiliboy Ralepelle, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Schalk Brits, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Thomas du Toit, 19 Jean-Luc du Preez, 20 Sikhumbuzo Notshe, 21 Embrose Papier 22 Handre Pollard, 23 Willie le Roux


15 Elliot Daly, 14 Jonny May, 13 Henry Slade, 12 Owen Farrell (captain), 11 Mike Brown, 10 Danny Cipriani, 9 Ben Youngs, 8 Nathan Hughes, 7 Tom Curry, 6 Chris Robshaw, 5 Maro Itoje, 4 Joe Launchbury, 3 Kyle Sinckler, 2 Jamie George, 1 Joe Marler

Substitutes: 16 Luke Cowan-Dickie, 17 Alec Hepburn, 18 Harry Williams, 19 Jonny Hill, 20 Mark Wilson, 21 Sam Simmonds, 22 Ben Spencer, 23 Denny Solomona

Read more on:    springboks  |  embrose papier  |  cape town  |  rugby


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