VIDEO: Explained - four scrumhalves and Faf's new role
REACTION: From a seven-one split on the bench to four scrumhalves in the matchday squad.
However, it is not as much of a left field selection as some pundits make it out to be.
Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber named all four scrumhalves in the Springbok squad in the matchday-23 to face Romania in Bordeaux on Sunday.
Cobus Reinach will start at scrumhalf, with Jaden Hendrikse providing cover off the replacements’ bench.
Grant Williams shows his versatility by starting on the right wing.
Faf de Klerk will provide flyhalf cover from the bench.
Nienaber admitted that the selection of four scrumhalves in the World Cup[ squad has been a topic of discussion.
“However, if you look at the versatility in that group, that is what we saw,” he told a media briefing after naming the team for the Round Two outing.
“Grant [Williams] played wing at school and only the last couple of games at Paarl Gym moved to No.9.
“As you saw in the game against New Zealand [at Twickenham], Cobus [Reinach] can help out on the wing as well.
“Faf [de Klerk], the majority of his school career, he played flyhalf.
“He also played flyhalf for the Lions in Super Rugby and Sale Sharks in the Premiership.”
He admitted the quartet played the majority of their professional careers at No.9, but a number of them have played at different positions – a situation the Boks can take advantage of.
(WATCH as Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber unpacks the reasons behind the selection of four scrumhalves in the matchday squad to face Romania in Bordeaux…)
“The key of this game [against Romania] is that we can give Faf a run at No.10,” the coach told @rugby365com.
“I am not being disrespectful, at all, to Romania or the Test.
“However, it is an opportunity for us to try him [at flyhalf] in a Test, under pressure.
“He trained there for us numerous times.
“Just as when we selected Canan [Moodie] at No.13 for the All Black Test, this is a bit ‘out of the box’ selection.
“Canan played No.13 the majority of his school career and he trained with us there regularly.
“The same with Faf and the guys we selected [on the wing].
“We said Faf is our third-choice flyhalf. This is a nice opportunity to give him a run at No.10. in a Test.”