Former Bulls executive of rugby John Mitchell has also touted Papier as a future world-class Test player.
At the moment, Faf de Klerk owns the Springbok No 9 jersey, there’s no doubt about that.
De Klerk will in all likelihood start at scrumhalf when the Boks take on the Wallabies at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Saturday, and while that seems like a definite, who will provide cover on the bench is a different story.
In terms of scrumhalves, Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus included De Klerk, Embrose Papier (pictured)and Ivan van Zyl in his squad for the two remaining Rugby Championship games against the Wallabies and New Zealand.
Building depth ahead of next year’s World Cup is something Erasmus has said is one of his objectives, so perhaps giving Van Zyl and Papier an extended run in the next two games would be beneficial – especially Papier, as the Bulls No 9 is someone the Bok coach has been quite excited about.
And he isn’t the only one. Former Bulls executive of rugby John Mitchell has also touted Papier as a future world-class Test player.
Papier made his Test debut in the Boks’ defeat to Wales in Washington DC on June 2, and he has since made three appearances for the Springboks.
The former Junior Bok is an out-and-out attack-minded nine, and his crisp pass, his speed and guile around the fringes, his ability to speed up a game and his solid box-kicking of course make him one to watch. He certainly still has a lot of growing to do, and that will come with game time.
Game time that Erasmus has the opportunity to increase this season.
Van Zyl is of course a different kind of scrumhalf, and he does have a lot to offer in terms of how he can manage a game when he’s on song, as well as his kicking game.
But if Erasmus is still as excited about Papier as he was earlier this season, then it should be the pacey No 9 that gets a chance after the half-time break in Port Elizabeth.