Western Province Rugby Union president Thelo Wakefield has hinted that No 8 Duane Vermeulen is not part of their plans going forward.
Vermeulen has been playing for Toulon since 2015, but the French club recently confirmed his departure at the end of the current season.
It was expected that the Bok No 8 would rejoin the Stormers, but according to Netwerk24, Wakefield suggested the WPRU will not offer Vermeulen a contract for the 2018 season, and that no decision has been made beyond that time-frame.
‘We have to prepare Juarno [Augustus] for the Bok team. How can we achieve that if he doesn’t get game time? We also have to allow Nizaam Carr back into the team to continue the excellent form he showed during his stint at Wasps,’ Wakefield said.
However, he added that Vermeulen might be considered if there are injuries to the Stormers’ loose-forward stocks.
‘We must send out the right message. We are often criticised for a failure to hold onto our youngsters because we contract older players from elsewhere. We must start focusing on the development of our own players.’
Meanwhile, Wakefield also confirmed that they would not look to recruit Springbok Rudy Paige following his omission from the Bulls’ Super Rugby squad.
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