Duane may miss All Blacks clash

Duane Vermeulen sustained a rib injury on Saturday and is in doubt for the Springboks’ next match against the All Blacks. JON CARDINELLI reports.

Vermeulen has been the Boks’ best player over the course of the 2014 Test season, and was prominent once again in the battle against the Wallabies at Newlands.

Unfortunately for the Boks, the abrasive No 8 was forced from the field late in the second half, and it's been confirmed that a rib injury could sideline him for some time.

‘I’m worried about Duane,' Heyneke Meyer said afterwards. ‘He’s probably playing his best rugby at the moment, and we need him for the All Blacks, especially since we're a bit thin in the loose forwards. At the moment, I’d say he’s 50/50 [for that game].

‘Duane is a strong, physical player, but he also plays like an extra openside at the breakdown. That’s the type of player you need when you play against the All Blacks.’

Bryan Habana left the field in the first half after taking a knock to the head. Meyer said he was optimistic about the Bok winger featuring against New Zealand at Ellis Park.

‘Bryan wasn’t looking too bad [after the Test against the Wallabies], and there's a good chance he will play next week,’ said the Bok coach.

Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix

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Jon Cardinelli