The Springbok international season ended with last week’s defeat to Wales in Cardiff but it turned out to be the cue for the silly season to start. It kicked off with the furore that blew up over Duane Vermeulen being spotted talking on a headset and microphone with the coaches in the second half. When he heard about the reaction back home, Bok coach Rassie Erasmus, who stayed on in the UK to coach the Barbarians against Argentina, explained it. He said Vermeulen was struggling with an injury and they were discussing whether he should continue. The player himself later endorsed that explanation on twitter. But he shouldn’t have needed to, and neither should Erasmus really have needed to justify it. Just a few minutes of logical thought should have been enough to rule out the conspiracy theory that was spawned by Vermeulen’s sideline chat. Not long after the incident that caused so much unnecessary comment, Vermeulen left the field. So if the conspiracy theories were correct, and the...

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