NEXT IN LINE: Bok scrumhalf Embrose Papier. Photo: MUZI NTOMBELA/BACKPAGEPIX

Rassie Erasmus won’t be on Cloud 9 after learning that he has no senior Springbok scrumhalves to call on for the end-of-year European tour.

With Faf de Klerk unavailable and Ross Cronje sidelined with injury for the rest of 2018, Rassie will have to make a plan.

Tests against England, France, Scotland and Wales look like they will be a proper examination of his squad’s World Cup credentials.

And without Faf and Cronje, it’s easy for panic to set in.

In a Rugby Championship campaign that was on life support before the Boks got a second wind when facing the All Blacks in Wellington, there was little scope for Rassie to give his back-up No.9 halfbacks a proper run.

Bulls duo Embrose Papier and Ivan van Zyl both got limited game time this season, but Van Zyl has not stepped on the pitch since the June internationals when he started against Wales and featured off the bench twice against England.

Rassie is handicapped by the fact that these two battle for a starting role at Loftus and hardly ever play the full 80.

So he will have to look elsewhere.

There may be answers at the Sharks where Louis Schreuder and Cameron Wright have had decent seasons.

But they pose the same dilemma as the Bulls duo.

They probably won’t be the answer for the Bokke at the World Cup next year, but ou manne like Jano Vermaak and Ruan Pienaar could be a guiding hand for the youngsters like veteran Schalk Brits has been for hooker Malcolm Marx for the upcoming end-of-year tour.

It’s obvious, however, that Papier and Van Zyl will need as much game time as possible.

And they have to step up to the plate now, with time to impress in the Green and Gold running out.

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