Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has confirmed that he spoke to coach Rassie Erasmus on a microphone about his shoulder injury during the Test against Wales.
Social media “blew up” about Vermeulen – and not captain Siya Kolisi – taking supposed instructions from Bok coach Erasmus during the 20-11 defeat in Cardiff on Saturday.
In the 62nd minute, Vermeulen was seen on screen with the head of Bok athletic performance Aled Walters on the pitch at the Principality Stadium.
Walters had fitted his earpiece and microphone to Vermeulen’s right ear, moments after Kolisi had instructed Elton Jantjies to kick a penalty to the posts.
After listening to Erasmus, Vermeulen gave a thumbs-up to the coach in the stands, and played on for another three minutes before being replaced by Francois Louw.
“That is correct as I dislocated my shoulder in the first half,” Vermeulen tweeted on Tuesday in response to a story posted by rugby website SA Rugby Magazine on Twitter, which stated that Erasmus was chatting to the loose forward about his injury.
“I saw how Duane injured his shoulder and was holding it, while the doctor and physio were busy attending to other players,” Erasmus was quoted as saying by Netwerk24.
“Aled didn’t see it, but he was closest to Duane, so I asked him to ask Duane if he was okay. Duane couldn’t understand why he was asking, and said he wanted to quickly talk to me himself. He told me his shoulder was too sore to continue playing.”
World Rugby regulations state that players may not wear communication devices during a match, but they have yet to comment on the matter.
That is correct as I dislocated my shoulder in the first half. https://t.co/mztL8l3dXb— Duane Vermeulen (@duane_vermeulen) November 27, 2018