First choice scrum half Faf de Klerk, a World Rugby Player of the Year nominee, wasn’t available for the match as the game fell outside the international window.
“BREAKING: @fafdeklerk has joined the Springbok squad in Paris and is available for Saturday’s Test against @FFRugby at the Stade de France”, they tweeted.
BREAKING: @fafdeklerk has joined the Springbok squad in Paris and is available for Saturday's Test against @FFRugby at the Stade de France. More to follow. #boksontour #LoveRugby pic.twitter.com/lWNDLzzT4E
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) November 5, 2018
The news represents a massive boost for Rassie Erasmus’ side, who had Ivan van Zyl in the number 9 shirt against England.
Their depth at scrum half has been tested in De Klerk’s absence with Embrose Papier on the bench against England, while Louis Shreuder is the other scrum-half within the Springbok camp.
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Sale Director of Rugby Steve Diamond hasn’t stood in De Klerk’s way since he forced his way back into the international reckoning, allowing him to play in the Rugby Championship, a tournament in which he excelled.
Speaking exclusively to RugbyPass last August Diamond spoke about the agreement in place for the tournament: “When Faf came to us he was in the Test wilderness and that is no longer the case and I am happy to cope with him having to play for South Africa. It is a loss to us because he is a fantastic player and 12 months ago not many people in the UK had heard of Faf de Klerk and now he is helping to put South Africa on the map.
“If we miss him for four to six games then so be it. We will get him back in October and off we go. I am happy for Faf to stay for the Rugby Championship and if Rassie decides to try other scrum halves then we will get him back and that would be a bonus.
“I knew having watched him play and then meet him, that Faf would set the Premiership on fire with his play and we played better than we had for three or four years with him in the team. I take credit with the coaching team for deciding that was the sort of player we needed in England and there is only Danny Care and Ben Youngs who have that ability. They are game changers.”
The Boks were welcomed at their Paris hotel by local SA rugby fans on Sunday and they were boosted when @FloLouw, @vincentkoch1, @Cheslin_Kolbe11 and @FrancoMostert joined them for the @CastleLagerSA Outgoing Tour Test against France at the Stade de France. #boksontour #LoveRugby pic.twitter.com/HazRJcNfNJ
— South African Rugby (@Springboks) November 4, 2018
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