Springboks

Who will wear the Bok No 9 jersey in June?

2018-04-26 13:59
Faf de Klerk (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - The No 9 jersey will always be a special one for the Springboks

That is largely thanks to the late, great Joost van der Westhuizen, who was considered a pioneer in the development of the modern-day scrumhalf and one of the best the game has ever seen in that position. 

World Cup-winner Fourie du Preez, who played for the Boks between 2004 and 2015, is also considered a great. 

Since Du Preez's retirement at the end of the 2015 World Cup, though, the Springboks have struggled to find an obvious replacement at scrumhalf. 

For two troublesome years under former coach Allister Coetzee, the Boks were all at sea in terms of their No 9 selections. 

Faf de Klerk was backed in 2016 and then tossed in 2017 when Ross Cronje was given his opportunity. 

Rudy Paige, meanwhile, was also involved over that time frame but none of those three players did anything for their long-term chances. 

Now, new coach Rassie Erasmus must back somebody for the upcoming international window in June, and the trend of uncertainty looks set to continue. 

Erasmus has been watching Super Rugby closely this year, and while there has been a lot that has excited him, he has not been overly impressed by the scrumhalf stocks. 

"I wouldn’t say we don’t have great depth because we’ve got four franchises and they’re all playing. But I would agree that nobody has put his hand up and said 'this is my position and the starting No 9 … you’re going to win a World Cup with me'," Erasmus told media in Cape Town on Wednesday.

"That hasn’t happened.

"Our reference point will always be to ask if we will win a World Cup with a guy if we put another 18 Test matches onto him. That’s how you must judge the guys you’re going with."

Erasmus confirmed that he had been in talks with De Klerk, now based at the Sale Sharks, about a possible return to the national set-up while Cobus Reinach (Northampton Saints) is another option.

"Are we going to look at a guy like Faf who everybody has spoken about or a Cobus Reinach?" Erasmus asked.

"Or if you put another 18 Test matches on Ivan van Zyl or Embrose Papier (both Bulls) … will those guys go and win a World Cup for you? If the answer is 'yes', then you should go with those guys.

"At this stage, I don’t think anyone has put the stake in the ground to tells us that they’re our No 9 and we’re going to win a World Cup with them."

Read more on:    springboks  |  faf de klerk  |  cape town  |  rugby
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Fixtures
Saturday, 02 June 2018
Wales v South Africa, RFK Stadium 23:00
Saturday, 09 June 2018
South Africa v England, Emirates Airline Park 17:05
Saturday, 16 June 2018
South Africa v England, Toyota Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 23 June 2018
South Africa v England, Cape Town 17:05
Saturday, 18 August 2018
South Africa v Argentina, Jonsson Kings Park Stadium 17:05
Saturday, 25 August 2018
Argentina v South Africa, Estadio Malvinas 21:10
Vote

Who would you like to see start in the No 10 jersey for the Springboks in the first Test against England in June?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season has wrapped up. For all the season highlights - and lowlights - be sure to visit Sport24!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.