• Vermeulen leaves Stormers tour

    Stormers captain Duane Vermeulen will return to Cape Town for a further two-week rest period.

    The No 8 has been in outstanding form for the Stormers in 2015, but he will head home from Sydney on Sunday as part of the agreed Saru rest period, which affects the top Springboks in this, a World Cup season.

    'It’s a big one for us … it was a big decision to make,' explained Stormers coach Allister Coetzee. 'However, it's something we discussed and have been planning since the start of the season. The intention was always for Duane to spend the first two weeks on tour and then to head home and be ready for the final part of our season.

    'We will of course miss him against the Waratahs, and the Force, but when we get home, his rest period will be over and we will have him back in tow for a crucial part of the season.'

    With Juan de Jongh having missed the Stormers’ 20-25 loss to the Hurricanes on Friday, and wing Kobus van Wyk limping off early in the second half with a tight hamstring, utility back Pat Howard has been summoned to join up with the squad in Sydney.

    'Juan went over his ankle at training last week and by Wednesday morning he wasn’t able to stand on his foot and he wasn’t able to complete Thursday’s captain’s run,' said Coetzee. 'Huw Jones came in and deserves a lot of credit for his performance – he had a good game and showed that he’s a good prospect for the future. We’re expecting Juan to train again on Monday, which is great news.'

    Photo: Marty Melville/AFP Photo

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    Simon Borchardt