Concern for Springboks as Duane Vermeulen’s injury ‘not looking too good’
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CAPE TOWN - It “doesn’t look too good” for Duane Vermeulen at the moment, but Jake White is hopeful that the Bulls captain will be able to feature for the Springboks against the British and Irish Lions next month.
The big No 8 left the field limping towards the end of the first half in the dramatic 31-27 Rainbow Cup SA victory over the Stormers at Loftus Versfeld on Friday night.
Soon afterwards, he had an ice-pack taped to his left ankle, after he got hurt in a tackle from Bok teammate Pieter-Steph du Toit.
White said in the post-match press conference that it was a recent problem that flared up again.
“It doesn’t look too good, I must say. He (Vermeulen) is a tough guy, and for him to say he wants to come off… Obviously it’s not ideal, but we know if he does say he is sore, then it is something,” the former Bok mentor said.
“He said he was feeling a bit sore. He did hurt it, but it’s a different injury (to his previous injuries) – he hurt it a couple of weeks ago, and I am hoping for his sake …
“Obviously he’s got ambitions of being involved in the Springbok side tomorrow (Saturday) night, getting selected and then playing against the Lions. So, I am hoping for his sake that it is just a minor twist in his ankle.”
Another Bok, Stormers scrumhalf Herschel Jantjies, was also replaced in the first half in Pretoria, with coach John Dobson explaining that he was unsure beforehand that the No 9 would even start the game at all.
“He was ill before the game – he did a fitness test before the game. He was very ill, and in retrospect … We just didn’t have another scrumhalf in Pretoria. He went straight from the field to get medical treatment, so he’s quite ill,” Dobson said.
“More respiratory. We weren’t sure during the warm-up that he was going to be on the field, and then he didn’t last – shame, he tried.”
Bok coach Jacques Nienaber will unveil his 45-man squad for the upcoming Tests against Georgia and the British and Irish Lions on Saturday night, and will hope that both Vermeulen and Jantjies are cleared in time.