Players who should start for Boks, Vermuelen joins team for France clash
CAPE TOWN — Experienced No. 8 Duane Vermeulen has been called up to the Springbok squad as replacement for tighthead Coenie Oosthuizen, who sustained a serious knee injury on Saturday in Dublin.
Oosthuizen underwent a scan before flying home from Dublin, and the results showed that he has sustained medial collateral (MCL) and anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) damage, which will require surgery and an extended period of time out of the game.
Vermeulen, who plays for French club Toulon, joined the Springbok squad yesterday at their base in Paris.
He has been capped 37 times by the Boks, with all of those coming in the No. 8 jersey.
Vermeulen is likely to replace loose forward PieterSteph du Toit, who will miss Saturday’s Test against the French because of a concussion he suffered against Ireland.
He left the field in the closing minutes of play after receiving a blow to his head.
The Boks started their preparations with a gym and field training session yesterday.
The team to play against France at the Stade France will be confirmed on Thursday.
Saturday’s match kicks off at 9.45 pm (SA time).
Allister Coetzee will sure be looking to turn things around in the remaining Test matches against France, Italy and Wales to stand any chance of seeing out the new year as the national coach.
According to Sport24, the following youngsters stand a good chance of making the starting lineup for Saturday.
It is surely time to hand the Bulls pivot his first Bok start since the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Elton Jantjies, for all of his flare and ability, is not functioning under the current Bok game style.
He doesn’t kick the ball far enough and in the northern hemisphere that is important. Pollard has had limited time off the bench since his return from injury, but there is no better time than now to turn to him.
Ross Cronje’s kicking display against Ireland was a disaster. He wasted so much ball by kicking it too far or too short, and if the Boks are going to play that way against France then they cannot back him again.
Paige has had limited opportunity in a Springbok jersey this year, but he has given a good account of himself in most of his bench appearances.
Damian de Allende is nowhere near the player he once was and, with limited options at inside centre, Am could be a good fit.
He may have played his rugby at No. 13 in Super Rugby, but Am is a No. 12 by trade. The centre pairing of De Allende and Jesse Kriel showed no creativity on Saturday, while Am is a player who can make things happen with little to work with. He must be backed.
Dan du Preez/Duane Vermeulen
With PieterSteph du Toit struggling with concussion, Coetzee may be forced into a change in his loose trio.
In Du Preez, he has a natural No. 8 should he want to move Francois Louw back to the side of the scrum.
Then, there is also the experienced Vermeulen, who is fit and available once more. In this kind of crisis, Vermeulen will be difficult to ignore. The 31yearold joined the squad yesterday. — Sport24.
Dan du Preez.