Cape Town - The Springboks have played down the incident during Saturday’s Test against Wales where No 8 Duane Vermeulen was seen communicating with the coaching box.
“We don’t respond to opinions on social media. By doing that would make it a story, which in this case it does not deserve to be,” Springbok spokesperson Rayaan Adriaanse told Netwerk24.
The incident occurred in the 62nd minute of the Test in Cardiff when Vermeulen was handed a microphone by fitness guru Aled Walters.
It’s not clear what message Vermeulen was receiving - or relaying - but some critics have indicated that it undermines the captaincy of Siya Kolisi.
Thando Manana, a former Bulls loose forward who played three tour matches for the Springboks, wrote on Twitter: "Its a FACT: Duane Vermeulen will captain Springboks in 2019".
It must also be noted that Vermeulen was struggling with a shoulder injury since the first half and he could simply have informed the Bok coaching staff that he could no longer carry on playing.
Vermeulen was substituted two minutes later.