Springboks

Duane to have limited role in Rugby Championship

2018-06-12 11:02
Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that Duane Vermeulen will play a limited role in this year's Rugby Championship.

The 31-year-old was immense for the Boks on Saturday as they overturned a 24-3 deficit to emerge as 42-39 winners against England in their first Test at Ellis Park. 

READ: Rassie explains decision to call-up Brits

Vermeulen put in one of his biggest shifts in a Bok jersey in a long time, and looking in better shape than he had done in a long time. 

It suggests that he could be a massive player for the Boks at next year's Rugby World Cup in Japan, but Erasmus confirmed on Monday that it was important for the Boks to try other combinations before that tournament. 

In fact, Vermeulen might not even feature at the Rugby Championship, and a lot of that has to do with the expected return of Warren Whiteley. 

"With Duane, we want to try a few things and see how we get a long without him," Erasmus explained.

"A guy like Warren will be available, a guy like Malcolm (Marx) will be available, Eben (Etzebeth) will be available, Lizo (Gqoboka) will be available, Coenie Oosthuizen will be available.

"There are a lot of guys who are missing out currently, which is a good time to build some leadership without a guy like Duane.

"We can obviously pull him back and say he has to play, but we want to start building a leadership group."

Meanwhile, Erasmus confirmed that overseas-based duo, scrumhalf Faf de Klerk and fullback Willie le Roux, would both be available for the Rugby Championship.

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