As part of a new series, RugbyPass will be scouring the world for the most in-form players that the northern and southern hemispheres have to offer and picking a global player of the month. Each winner will receive a donation of $100 to the charity of their choosing, with their form on the field not only helping their club or country, but also a cause close to their heart.
With the northern hemisphere club competitions in their offseasons and Super Rugby having crowned its winner at the beginning of the month, July has been a period dominated by international rugby.
The Currie Cup and Mitre 10 Cup competitions have begun, but it has been international rugby where the focus has resided, most notably with the first two rounds of The Rugby Championship.
Both South Africa and New Zealand have emerged from those opening rounds undefeated with a number of players impressing, including Pieter-Steph du Toit and Jack Goodhue. For Argentina, Pablo Matera has also distinguished himself in recent weeks.
Those efforts noted, it is fresh-faced Springbok Herschel Jantjies who picks up the RugbyPass Player of the Month award for July, with the scrum-half having made a blistering start to his international career.
The 23-year-old grabbed a brace of tries in his impressive debut against Australia in Johannesburg, with the Stormers scrum-half not only catching the eye with his try-scoring antics, but also the tempo and precision of his play, both of which the Wallabies struggled to live with defensively.
A week later in Wellington, he came off the bench in a tight match and managed to score a try that allowed South Africa to level up the scores and escape their match against the All Blacks with a draw, something which their earlier profligacy had made look unlikely.
Thanks to the form of Faf de Klerk and Cobus Reinach in England with Sale Sharks and Northampton Saints respectively, and the recent rise of Jantjies, Rassie Erasmus suddenly has three very effective options at scrum-half for the Springboks’ upcoming Rugby World Cup campaign.
From darting forays around the fringes to swift and accurate distribution to his ball-carriers, Jantjies had his coming out party in July and announced himself as one of the more exciting attacking nines in the game.
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