The cover story of SA Rugby Magazine’s latest issue is of Faf De Klerk, and details the integral part that he will play in the Springboks upcoming battle against the British & Irish Lions. But with De Klerk soaring for Sale Sharks – and not the lions – week in and week out, many South Africans may need a reminder of the unique style that makes him one of the most important pieces in the Springbok puzzle, writes Oliver Keohane.
De Klerk, described by SA Rugby Magazine editor Craig Lewis as a “lethal weapon”, fills an incredibly distinct mould of scrum-half, with a lot of his impact being the momentum that he either brings to, or changes in a game. His appeal to fans around the world and within the South African rugby fraternity has long-been his David-like approach to the Goliaths of the game, and his constant disruption around set pieces and presence on a rush defence is troublesome to many top teams, who don’t like to play a style of rugby where they’re forced to scrap it out.
De Klerk’s unexpected physicality as well as the fitness that allows him to be a presence fo 80 minutes, is also coupled with a kicking game that has developed to suit the Springboks’ style of play and a game changing eye for a gap on attack, that has often seen him sneak a break or score a try out of tight circumstances.
With De Klerk having been out of Springbok action since his World Cup heroics of 2019, it seems timely to take a look back at him taking names of players of all shapes and sizes, domestically and internationally, over his career. YouTube channel, RugbyBeast, runs a fantastic series called Taking Names, which compiles clips of some of the world’s best players one-upping other brilliant players around the globe. Take a look at De Klerk’s efforts here.