There are two South African halfbacks among the top five most impactful scrumhalves in world rugby right now.
The five most impactful scrumhalves in world rugby
While impact is something that is hard to measure objectively, for the purposes of this list we have used the RugbyPass Index, trusting in their next generation rugby rating system.
5 Faf de Klerk – Sale Sharks/Springboks
Currently in action with the Sale Sharks, who are third in the English Premiership. The Rugby World Cup winner has enhanced his reputation as one of the best scrumhalves in the world and hasn’t lost his appetite for the scrap.
Evidence of that was to be found during Sale’s recent victory of Leicester when De Klerk got into it with the Tiger’s Argentine centre Matías Moroni.
Abrasive on defence and still possessing a wicked turn of pace, De Klerk is a scrumhalf for the battle.
4 Antoine Dupont – Toulouse/France
Dupont has played a big part in the recent resurgence of French rugby showing silky skills and a nose for the opportunity.
He was the first Frenchman to be named as Six Nations player of the tournament after his 2020 campaign.
Dupont has been equally influential at Toulouse helping the club to the summit of the Top 14 league table.
3 Jamison Gibson-Park – Leinster/Ireland
Ireland’s kiwi convert appears to be entering the prime of his career well-placed for a prominent run in the colours of Leinster and the national team.
It is fair to say that Gibson-Park has his detractors in Ireland but his performances for Leinster have warranted the attention given to him and he has been boosted by partnering with Jonny Sexton.
A gamewise scrumhalf he has enjoyed a diverse rugby education and appears to have settled well in Dublin.
2 Cobus Reinach – Montpellier/Springboks
The former Sharks scrumhalf is among the most under-rated players to have been associated with the Springboks in recent seasons.
The emergence of Herschel Jantjies has limited his international opportunties but he keeps putting in stellar displays in Europe.
Having moved from Northampton to Montpellier, he appears to be getting better with age. His pace is an asset on attack and defence and his support lines seem almost extra-sensory.
1 Richard Wigglesworth – Leicester/England
Another player who seems to be getting better with age is veteran scrumhalf Richard Wigglesworth who has started life at Leicester in great form. He scored a try on debut for Leicester last December. He
Wigglesworth directs the impressive Leicester pack well but is probably not in Eddie Jones’ thinking right now with Ben Youngs likely to keep the number nine jersey for some time.
He didn’t help himself by earning a four-game suspension for his role in the Barbarians fiasco in December when 13 players broke Covid-19 protocols and caused a game against England to be cancelled.