After the Premiership Dream Team was announced yesterday, there were always going to be some contentious selections which would cause debate on social media.
One omission that has shocked many fans is Faf de Klerk’s, particularly as he missed out in favour of his compatriot Cobus Reinach.
Both scrum-halves were on the shortlist for the Player of the Season, meaning one was inevitably going to miss out on their place in the Dream Team.
This has been a decision that has split opinion, as there are many fans on either player’s side. Former Scotland scrum-half Andy Nicol is just one example of someone that has shown his surprise at Northampton’s Reinach’s selection. This is what they said:
There is no doubt Reinach has been good but better than Faff??? #notforme
— Andy Nicol (@AndyNic9) May 22, 2019
— NigeH64 (@nige_h64) May 22, 2019
— Ollie (@ollie_horton97) May 22, 2019
— tedwilson12 (@tedwilson121) May 23, 2019
— Steve Reese (@Steve110R) May 23, 2019
Faf De Klerk, exceptional.
— Richard Carswell (@Carsy066) May 22, 2019
De Klerk has been the best scrum half by a mile
— James Connor (@jmconnor6) May 22, 2019
@fafdeklerk without a doubt.
— Rick Williams (@Herm321) May 22, 2019
Regardless of who was awarded the number nine slot on the team, this is an ideal situation for South Africa currently. Having two of the highest performing players in the Premiership in one position will give Rassie Erasmus a selection headache, but one that he will want, to use the cliché.
De Klerk’s energy and tempo in both attack and defence has marked him out this year. He was sensational against England last year in the summer series, and he brought that form into this season.
While Reinach may not seem as complete as de Klerk, there is no doubt that he had a huge impact at the Saints this season. He is surely the fastest scrum-half in the league, and possibly in world rugby at the moment, and has an acute eye for the try line. In fact he was the league’s top try scorer, alongside Denny Solomona, and was the main catalyst in Northampton’s resurgence this season, and why they have made it to the playoffs.
The combination of these two can make South Africa a serious threat come the World Cup, particularly in such a pivotal position. The prospect of Reinach’s pace for the final quarter of a match will be a frightening proposition for any opposition.
With Francois Houghaard excelling at Worcester this season as well, it is fair to say that South Africa are overstocked with quality scrum-halves in England alone.
Erasmus will need a very good excuse to overlook both de Klerk and Reinach for the World Cup in September, the question will be which one will start.
Sign up to our mailing list for a weekly digest from the wide world of rugby.Sign Up Now