Cape Town - Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen may miss the 2018 Rugby Championship due to club commitments in Japan.
It was confirmed last week by Vermeulen's French Top 14 side Toulon that the 31-year-old would be leaving the club.
Toulon said Vermeulen wanted to return to South Africa to prepare adequately for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.
However, it was reported over the weekend that Vermeulen would first make a stop in Japan before heading back to the country of his birth.
Netwerk24 reported on Saturday that Vermeulen could play for the Kubota Spears, before making South Africa his permanent home.
On Sunday, Afrikaans newspaper Rapport also indicated that Vermeulen would head to the Kubota Spears before returning to South Africa.
It’s uncertain which Super Rugby team he would join, despite the player having strong bonds with the Stormers.
But the newspaper also reported that his Japanese contract won’t allow him to play in the Rugby Championship.
It stated that he would only be available for the Boks during the three-Test series in June and the end-of-year tour to Europe.
The 31-year-old boasts 39 Test caps, but has only played four times for the Boks over the last two seasons.