Rudy Paige (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks’ Rugby World Cup clash against the USA in London on
Wednesday represents the last chance for squad member Rudy Paige to get a
chance to make his Test debut.
The uncapped scrumhalf, who was a controversial inclusion ahead of Cobus Reinach in the 31-man Bok squad for the tournament, is yet to feature in a match-day squad at the event.
The only other Springbok player to also not feature in a match-day squad is veteran flyhalf Morne Steyn, who is behind Handre Pollard and Pat Lambie in the pecking order.
Wednesday’s match is South Africa’s final Pool B game and while it’s an important game for the Boks to win in order to secure top spot in their group, it will be the ideal opportunity to include the duo.
Barring injury, they are unlikely to feature in the knockout phases.
With Ruan Pienaar’s form well below the standard of an international scrumhalf at present, this writer feels Paige deserves at least a shot on the bench for Wednesday’s match at London’s Olympic Park (kick-off 17:45 SA time).
Not picking Paige would just re-affirm the notion that he was purely brought along to meet transformation demands.
Coach Heyneke Meyer will name his side at 18:00 on Monday.