Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has confirmed that No8 Duane Vermeulen will not be available for the Rugby Championships.
Vermeulen‚ 31‚ was a colossal figure in the recent 2-1 series win and would have been a definite starter for the team against the All Blacks‚ Wallabies and Pumas. It is understood that his failure to secure a contract in SA several months ago meant that he has signed for a Japanese club and as a consequence is restricted from representing the Boks.
When asked directly, Vermeulen refused to confirm where he would be playing in the coming months.
"I am not available‚ that’s all I can say‚" Vermeulen said. "I’ve spoken to Rassie and we’ve got a plan‚ and there will be an opportunity to discuss things further over the next few weeks.
"It’s great being back and pulling this green jumper over your head again, and it’s great to be part of a young squad.
"These guys are just so excited to play for one another. I’m happy to be back and hope to be a part of the side in the future Tests‚ just not in the Rugby Championship‚ but we’ll see what happens down the road.
"It a great team with a great captain in Siya [Kolisi]. It’s an exciting phase leading up to the World Cup. I would be happy to be part of that and give my 110%."