• Boks delay call on Duane

    The call on Duane Vermeulen’s availability for the Test against the All Blacks will be delayed until the last possible moment, reports JON CARDINELLI in Johannesburg.

    Vermeulen sustained a rib cartilage injury in the Boks’ recent clash against the Wallabies in Cape Town. While he has been named to start against the All Blacks this Saturday, there is a good chance that he won’t be fit in time to take his place.

    Vermeulen hasn’t trained with the Boks all week. On Wednesday, coach Heyneke Meyer said he expected Vermeulen to feature at the captain’s run on Friday afternoon.

    SARugbymag.co.za understands that a final call on Vermeulen’s fitness won’t be made at this training session at Ellis Park. Vermeulen is an influential player, and his importance in the context of the Bok game plan is such that he will be given more time to recover if needed.

    Vermeulen will be assessed again on Saturday morning, and the Boks may wait until the last possible moment to decide whether he plays against the All Blacks.

    If Vermeulen is ruled out, Schalk Burger will start at No 8 and Warren Whiteley will come on to the Bok bench.

    Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

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    Jon Cardinelli