Cape Town - Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk is available for Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff, but will likely not be utilised.
This was revealed by Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus at a press conference in Cardiff on Monday.
“Faf is available this weekend, but we probably won’t use him. Faf is definitely a contender to go to the Rugby World Cup next year, but in the same breath we don’t have the luxury of 15 to 20 Test matches before the World Cup. We have five, including this one,” Erasmus said, as quoted by Netwerk24.
This means Embrose Papier is likely to retain his role as starting scrumhalf, with Ivan van Zyl on the bench. Louis Schreuder is the other scrumhalf in the squad.
De Klerk missed last weekend’s Test against Scotland in Edinburgh after the Boks opted to release him to his English club, Sale Sharks.
“The way we have been trying to build momentum and get the winning feeling back, we had to rely a lot on Faf, but we feel the young boys in the squad are ready to take the step up and show what they can do, like Embrose did last week and Ivan did against England,” Erasmus added.
The Bok mentor said there was no issue regarding the availability of De Klerk.
“Regulation nine is quite clear that we can draft the (overseas-based) guys in a Sunday before a Test match. We have a very good relationship with most of the clubs”.
Erasmus will name his team on Thursday, with Saturday's Test scheduled for 19:20 (SA time).