Duane Vermuelen set to make Springbok return for Australia leg of Rugby Championship
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DURBAN - SPRINGBOK fans will have to wait a little longer to see the iconic Duane Vermeulen back in action after forwards coach Deon Davids confirmed that the veteran will only be fit for the Australia leg of the Boks’ Rugby Championship campaign.
The Boks’ loose forward stocks were hard hit during abrasive Lions series and on Saturday against the Pumas there was the misfortune of an injury to Marco van Staden in the last minute of the game.
The burly Bulls flank had come on as a substitute only to take a heavy knock at the death of the match, which has necessitated the call-up of Sale Sharks flank/lock Jean-Luc du Preez.
Du Preez’s twin brother, Dan, was called up after the third Test against the Lions and featured off the bench last week at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Vermeulen is still working his way back to full fitness after missing the Lions series because of an ankle injury sustained playing for the Bulls in the Rainbow Cup.
He has company on the sidelines in fellow loose forward Rynhardt Elstadt while David also explained that Jean-Luc will not be available for selection for the second Test against the Pumas because he is still not fully over a knee complaint, and is essentially cover for the Boks’ trip to Australia, where they will first play two Tests against the Wallabies and then two against the All Blacks.
“We are a bit thin in terms of scrumhalves and loose forwards,” Davids said. “A couple of scrumhalves are struggling with injuries (Faf de Klerk and Herschel Jantjies), that is why a guy like Jaden Hendrikse came in and got his first cap this weekend. I thought he did really well.
“And it is why Jean-Luc has come in at loose forward. Duane and Rynhardt are still busy with their rehab and will only be available when we go on tour for our Tests against Australia and New Zealand.”