Former England flyhalf Stuart Barnes says the absence of scrumhalf Faf de Klerk could derail the Springboks when they take on England at Twickenham on Saturday.
De Klerk has not been included in the Springboks’ 36-man squad for the end-of-year tour due to his commitments to English club, the Sale Sharks.
‘He has been the revelation of the southern hemisphere [season] with his furious defence and his calm control from the base.
‘His absence is compounded by the fact that Rassie Erasmus doesn’t have much faith in any other nine. It is a weakness in South Africa’s squad in need of addressing. It’s a weakness England will look to capitalise upon.
‘There’ll be quite some squeeze on the steadily improving Handré Pollard. With De Klerk not there, a huge burden of responsibility for game management will fall upon the flyhalf’s broad shoulders.
‘His goal-kicking is back to its outstanding best. If the rest of his game reaches the peak at which he was playing before injury derailed him for the best part of two years, he’ll handle the pressure.’
Barnes finished his column by saying that Bok wing Aphiwe Dyantyi is his ‘idea of World Rugby’s Breakthrough Player of the Year. Six tries in nine Tests and a fast-improving defence. The guy is electric.’
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