The Springboks will be seriously depleted when they take on a full-strength England at Twickenham on Saturday.
The Test match falls outside of the international window, meaning that the Boks go into the clash without any of the European-based players available.
Perhaps the most significant loss for coach Rassie Erasmus, though, is at scrumhalf where Faf de Klerk will not play any of the four matches on this tour as part of an agreement between Erasmus and the Wasps leadership.
In front of 80 000 people at the home of English rugby this weekend, one of Embrose Papier, Ivan van Zyl or Louis Schreuder will wear the No 9 jersey.
Those three players have just 8 Test matches between them, and Erasmus knows that the Boks will face a serious test in the position regardless of who starts.
“We are thin there,” he told media from London on Monday.
“It’s just one of those cycles that we’re going through where we don’t have a lot of experienced 9s.
“Ivan and Embrose have been in our system from the beginning so it’s not like they’re going to have to learn everything from scratch.
“When you run out there, the pressure will be on. It is conditions that are different to South African conditions and it’s and English team that is desperate, so they will be tested at 9.”
Kick-off on Saturday is at 17:00 (SA time).
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Publish date : 2018-10-30 09:27:18