Swanepoel frets over Boks' scrumhalf depth

2017-12-15 11:06
Werner Swanepoel (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former Springbok scrumhalf Werner Swanepoel is concerned about the quality of depth in the team's No 9 jumper.

READ: SA Rugby delaying decision to sack Coetzee

Ross Cronje was the Springboks' preferred scrumhalf in the 2017 season, but the Lions No 9 has copped heavy criticism from several pundits who believe his service is too slow behind the Bok engine room.

Last year, Faf de Klerk was picked as the Springbok scrumhalf, but fell out of favour and went on to sign a deal with English club Sale Sharks.

Rudy Paige has been part of the Springbok squad in recent years but has received limited game time, while Louis Schreuder made his Test debut in the recent Test against Wales in Cardiff.

However, Swanepoel - who played 20 Tests for the Springboks between 1997 and 2000 - feels the Boks are yet to find a suitable replacement for Fourie du Preez, who retired after the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England.

“South Africa’s depth at scrumhalf currently looks very thin. It’s a massive concern,” Swanepoel said in an interview with Netwerk24.

According to Swanepoel, Cobus Reinach is the player who should have stepped into Du Preez’s shoes.

Reinach however left South African rugby in 2017 to join English club Northampton Saints.

Reinach only boasts 10 Test caps and will be unavailable for the Springboks next year due to SA Rugby’s overseas player policy.

In terms of SA Rugby’s stipulation, only overseas-based Boks with 30 or more Test caps can turn out for the national team.

The policy does however not count in Rugby World Cup years.

According to Swanepoel, attempts should have been made to make Reinach part of the Bok set-up.

“We are two years away from a World Cup and we still don’t know who our scrumhalf will be.”

Read more on:    springboks  |  cobus reinach  |  rugby

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