Saffas Abroad: Faf’s Premiership form continues

Springbok scrumhalf Faf de Klerk is starting to hit top form as the buildup to the British & Irish Lions series continues after starring for the Sale Sharks against the Leicester Tigers.

De Klerk was one of 11 South Africans involved in Friday evening’s clash, which went the way of the Sale Sharks as they claimed a 26-10 victory to temporarily move into second place on the Premiership table.

The Springbok scrumhalf played 64 minutes, during which he made 56 passes, four carries and 13 metres on attack. However, it was on defence where De Klerk showed his value, making a total of 10 tackles, including some vital cover tackles.

With the Lions series only a couple of months away, De Klerk is starting to hit his best form at the right time. Other Springboks in action for Sale were the Du Preez twins, Jean-Luc and Daniel, hooker Akker van der Merwe and prop Coenie Oosthuizen, while the uncapped Cobus Wiese put in another solid display at lock.

Leicester had Cyle Brink and Hanro Liebenberg in their loose trio but opted to give Jasper Wiese a bit of a break, naming him on the bench after his impressive performances the past few weeks.

Staying with the theme of impressive loose forwards, both Ruan Ackermann and Jacques Vermeulen had very good outings for their respective sides this past weekend. Ackermann has been a major force behind Gloucester’s drive up the table after the club’s early-season form led to talk of their relegation. Starting at No 8 against the Northampton Saints, he made 10 carries for 55m, eight tackles and beat one defender.

Meanwhile, Vermeulen was on the scoresheet as the Exeter Chiefs stayed in second place on the table after beating the Worcester Warriors 41-10.

In Sunday’s 94-point thriller between Harlequins and Wasps, Tyrone GreenWilco Louw and captain Stephan Lewies stood out for Harlequins, who won 48-46. Green played the full 80 minutes and made eight carries for 67m, seven tackles, two offloads and one clean break. Louw and Lewies put in massive defensive shifts, making 13 and 14 tackles, respectively.

Photo: David Rogers/Getty Images

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Dylan Jack