Duane Vermeulen ‘touch and go’ for Lions series, Willie le Roux a ‘concern’ | Sport


Bulls skipper Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)

Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen is “touch and go” to play some part in the upcoming Test series against the British & Irish Lions.

That is the word from director of rugby Rassie Erasmus, who provided an update on one of his key players following Wednesday night’s 17-13 win for South Africa ‘A’ over the Lions in Cape Town. 

Vermeulen was injured while on Rainbow Cup duty for the Bulls back in June and he has since undergone surgery on his ankle.  

“Duane is currently rehabbing with the Bulls, but he is touch and go either for the second or the last Test match,” Erasmus revealed. 

“I think the big question is match-fitness … you saw today with the intensity.

“I think if you have the right combinations next to him and the right substitutions, then maybe you can counter things like that.

“He is definitely in our plans, but it’s not a definite where I can tell you that it’s going so well that he’ll definitely be there. There is a good possibility, but we’re not banking on that at this stage.”

Erasmus also revealed that fullback Willie le Roux and No 8 Jasper Wiese were “concerns” following the SA ‘A’ game. 

“I think Willie has a hamstring that’s a little bit sore and I think Jasper at the end had an ankle injury,” Erasmus said.

“Apart from that, it was all tactical subs because the guys were really tired. I think it’s only those two guys that are concerns at this stage.”

Pieter-Steph du Toit, meanwhile, did not return after leaving the field for an HIA on Wednesday, but Erasmus confirmed that the decision to keep him sidelined was “precautionary” with the 24 July series opener against the Lions in mind.

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