Embrose Papier. Picture: GALLO IMAGES
Embrose Papier. Picture: GALLO IMAGES

Bulls coach Pote Human believes that highly promising scrumhalf Embrose Papier has the talent to establish himself as one of the world’s best players.

The 21-year-old will be a key player for the Bulls during their Super Rugby campaign in which they are chasing a place in the knockout stages that has eluded them the past six years.

“You can’t tell him what to do because he is a special player with special talents‚” said Human after confirming that Papier will start at No 9 in their Super Rugby opener against the Stormers at home on Saturday.

“He must play what he sees in front of him and be given the opportunity to express himself and show us his talent. If you put him in a set mindset‚ you will restrict his ability to express himself and that will hamper his development.

“He has a great feeling for the game and I will encourage him to go out there and enjoy himself while sticking to processes and fundamentals of the team.”

Papier, who has already represented the Springboks seven times, is seen as the future replacement for Faf du Plessis, the first-choice scrumhalf.

In the matches he has played for the Springboks‚ he made five appearances from the bench and started twice. Some of the notable opposition he has faced includes world champions New Zealand‚ England and Wales.

“I really believe that this will be the year he comes of age and shows the world what he is truly made of. He has a big heart and, most importantly, he has a good head on his shoulders and I am looking forward to seeing him play this year.”

Papier is following in the footsteps of great Bulls No 9s such as  Fourie du Preez and the late Joost van der Westhuizen who not only brought silverware to Loftus but carved their names into Bulls folklore.

His strong points are his crisp and quick passes off the base of the scrum and ruck and the ability to make the right decisions under pressure.