Meyer confident about Paige

Date published: August 30 2015

Heyneke Meyer admits he should have given Rudy Paige his first Test cap earlier after naming him in the Springboks' World Cup squad.

The Bulls scrum-half was a surprise inclusion in South Africa's 31-man squad, leapfrogging Cobus Reinach in the pecking order despite having not yet appeared for South Africa.

Paige has been training with the squad, but Ruan Pienaar and Reinach were the two scrum-halves used during the Rugby Championship and the final warm-up game against Argentina.

However Meyer believes he has made the right call in picking Paige due to his strong kicking game, even if he would have preferred to give him some game time before naming him in the squad.

"When Rudy first came into the group, I told him that he had a chance to go to the World Cup," said Meyer. 

"I wanted him to work on a few things, and it's been great to see how he has improved over the past year, both in his performances for the Bulls at Super Rugby level and in camp with the Boks.

"His service from the base is good, and he has an unbelievable kicking game in wet conditions, which we will need at the World Cup.

"I see him as a similar player to Fourie du Preez. It was a tough decision between Rudy and Cobus, but I believe it is the right one. I also believe it's a good balance if you consider the experience of Du Preez and Ruan Pienaar.

"It was always my plan to give Rudy game time in Buenos Aires, but then we let ourselves down against Argentina in Durban. I said to the players that the same group would have a chance to set things right the following week in Buenos Aires."