Cape Town - Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has explained why he chatted to No 8 Duane Vermeulen via a microphone during last Saturday’s Test against Wales in Cardiff.
The incident occurred in the 62nd minute of the match when Vermeulen was handed a microphone by fitness guru Aled Walters.
“I saw how Duane injured his shoulder and was holding it, while the doctor and physio were busy attending to other players,” Erasmus told Netwerk24 on Monday.
“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.”
Social media was abuzz after the incident, with some critics suggesting it undermined 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".
Vermeulen was struggling with the shoulder injury since the first half and was substituted by Francois Louw in the 64th minute.
World Rugby is yet to comment on the matter but according to regulation 4(5h), a player is not allowed to wear a communication device during a match. The onus then rests on the referee to ask the player to remove it.