Jake White finds it ‘incredible’ that Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has been allowed to miss the Rugby Championship in order to play in Japan.
In his latest column for AllOutRugby, the 2007 World Cup-winning coach questioned the reasoning behind allowing Vermeulen to take up a contract in Japan at a time when the Boks would surely want their best players contributing to a winning culture.
‘Rassie Erasmus has let Duane Vermeulen go to Japan and it seems he’ll be bringing in another couple of guys for the Rugby Championship. He’s sold it to the rugby public on the basis that the Boks need to try a few things before the 2019 World Cup, which is in total contrast to the rest of the world where guys are saying the time for experimenting is over and it’s about getting continuity.
‘It was a masterstroke by Rassie to bring back Vermeulen but, as good as that was, you have to ask yourself how he would come to the conclusion that he doesn’t need Vermeulen for the next six Test matches. The guy that everyone spoke of as the European-based player who made the most significant impact for South Africa against England, that guy has been released for the Rugby Championship.
‘The only logical way to explain it is that, unlike other national coaches, Rassie is not worried about keeping his job. There’s no doubt in my mind that if his job depended on results over the next two years, there’s no way Vermeulen would have been allowed to go to Japan.’
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