Rassie: Scottish pace will suit Papier

Embrose Papier (Gallo)
Embrose Papier (Gallo)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has backed his decision to select scrumhalf Embrose Papier for Saturday's clash against Scotland in Edinburgh.

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With regular No 9 Faf de Klerk released for club duty, Erasmus has opted to give the 21-year-old Papier a first Test start. 

Ivan van Zyl, who started against England, is on the bench. 

Papier is a player highly-rated in South Africa, with former Bulls coach John Mitchell saying at the start of Super Rugby 2018 that he had all of the ingredients to become a Bok star. 

Where Van Zyl is more methodical, Papier is more unpredictable and Erasmus believes that a clash against a Scottish side eager to throw the ball around will allow the youngster to settle.

"I think he is ready for it," Erasmus told media on Thursday after announcing his side.

"Hopefully it is dry because that will suit his game really well. The pace Scotland plays at will also suit him. Scotland are going to try and make it tough for us so we have the challenge to give him a nice base on his first start.

"I think we are blooding the guys nicely but we are trying not to group three or four first-cappers together.

"We don’t want to have Damian Willemse and Embrose all having first caps in big games. I think we have been spreading it out well with Ivan and guys like S’bu (Nkosi) and Lukhanyo Am, getting them into the team in bits and pieces and not throwing four or five new caps into one Test match."

Kick-off on Saturday is at 19:20 (SA time). 



15 Stuart Hogg, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Huw Jones, 12 Pete Horne, 11 Sean Maitland, 10 Finn Russell, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 Ryan Wilson, 7 Hamish Watson, 6 Sam Skinner 5 Jonny Gray, 4 Ben Toolis, 3 WP Nel, 2 Stuart McInally, 1 Gordon Reid

Substitutes: 16 Fraser Brown, 17 Allan Dell, 18 Simon Berghan, 19 Josh Strauss, 20 Jamie Ritchie, 21 Ali Price, 22 Adam Hastings, 23 Chris Harris.

South Africa

15 Willie le Roux, 14 S’bu Nkosi, 13 Jesse Kriel, 12 Damian de Allende, 11 Aphiwe Dyantyi, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Embrose Papier, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Pieter-Steph du Toit, 6 Siya Kolisi (captain), 5 Franco Mostert, 4 RG Snyman, 3 Frans Malherbe, 2 Malcolm Marx, 1 Steven Kitshoff

Substitutes: 16 Bongi Mbonambi, 17 Thomas du Toit, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Lood de Jager, 20 Francois Louw, 21 Ivan van Zyl, 22 Elton Jantjies, 23 Cheslin Kolbe

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