Jacques Nienaber. Picture: JUAN JOSE GASPARINI/GALLO IMAGES
Jacques Nienaber. Picture: JUAN JOSE GASPARINI/GALLO IMAGES

Springbok coach Jacques Nienaber has confirmed there will be no replacement for the injured Duane Vermeulen and he is  expecting RG Snyman and Damian de Allende in camp as soon as they are cleared to travel.                

The talismanic Vermeulen went under the knife on Wednesday after he sustained an ankle injury when playing for the Bulls last week. Snyman and De Allende of Munster suffered superficial burns in a firepit accident in Ireland.

“I think Duane was operated on today [Wednesday] on his ankle injury. Hopefully the surgery goes well and the rehab goes well,” Nienaber said.

“The surgeon will probably know once he has opened it up and had a good look what’s going on inside. Certain players come back very quickly. Jesse Kriel had a similar injury just before the World Cup in 2019 and he was back quickly.”

On the issue of Snyman and De Allende‚ who the coach is hoping can both play against Georgia in July‚ Nienaber said he has spoken to the players and the Boks are hoping to have them in camp as soon as possible.

The pair suffered superficial burns in a now-infamous firepit incident in which one of the players present threw petrol onto the flames‚ leading to a canister igniting and exploding.

“They had an accident in the fire pit – that is well documented now. I have spoken to both of them and they are fine and their families are also fine‚ which is the most important thing‚” Nienaber said.

“They are seeing a specialist who is treating their burns and, if he clears them to fly, they will be on the plane coming to us as soon as possible.

“Obviously‚ accidents like that do happen and sometimes we can’t control them. That is why people call them accidents. For me, having been in Ireland, I understand and to put it in context, it rains a little bit more in Ireland than in SA.

“When I was there‚ if you wanted to use a wood fire to braai or sit in front of it like we do in SA‚ I did the same by putting a little bit of petrol on the wood. Otherwise the wood is wet and you can’t get it burning,” he said.

“I did it the same way and everybody does it that way over there‚ and they have explained it to me and it makes perfect sense that the fire just ran up into the canister, then the canister fell and petrol spilt over their legs.”

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