From a selection crisis to a selection headache: The Springbok scrumhalves

From a selection crisis to a selection headache: The Springbok scrumhalves

At the start of Rassie Erasmus tenure as Springbok head coach in 2018, the former test flanker had limited options at scrumhalf with no clear front runner for the no.9 jersey 18 months out from a Rugby World Cup.


Fast forward a year and half later and Erasmus may have a selection headache on his hands with three in form scrumhalves in his current Rugby Championship squad.

Under former Springbok coach Alister Coetzee, the Boks used the likes of Faf de Klerk, Ross Cronje, Francois Hougaard, Rudy Paige and Louis Schreuder with none of the quartet truly making the jersey their own with de Klerk losing his place in the side in 2017 and Hougaard being dropped following a disappointing game against the All Blacks.

De Klerk returned to the Springbok set up in 2018 after a stellar debut season in England and has gone from strength to strength and went on to be nominated for World Rugby Player of the Year, eventually won by Jonathan Sexton, while also solidifying himself as the Springboks first-choice halfback.

Erasmus was a couple of scrum-halves short in 2018 with Embrose Papier showing flashes of brilliance, without really pushing de Klerk for the starting jumper, while it was a similar story for the likes of Schreuder, Cronje and van Zyl.

The 2019 Super Rugby season saw inconsistent performances from the likes of Papier and van Zyl at the Bulls while Cronje lost his starting spot at the Lions to Nic Groom. Schreuder cemented his place in the starting line up, captaining the Sharks, but didn't seem to impress Erasmus enough.

Luckily for the Springboks, Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach were arguably the two in form scrum-halves in England with Reinach excelling in the starting line up at Northampton Saints since the departure of Groom.



Another star also broke through at the Stormers with Herschel Jantjies getting the starting jersey in the Cape following an injury to Jano Vermaak.

The young Stormer made the most of his chances and went onto enjoy a stellar breakout season with the Stormers after making just one appearance in 2018.

With the Rugby World Cup fast approaching the Springbok head coach will want to give all three of his scrumhalves some time in the starting line up with Jantjies already impressing against the Wallabies in the first game of the year while Reinach made a great impact off the bench and de Klerk set to start against the All Blacks.



De Klerk looks as if he will be the Springboks first-choice scrumhalf at the World Cup but he will be mindful of the two inform contenders breathing down his neck.

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