Boks may delay call on Duane

Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)
Duane Vermeulen (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - The Springboks could leave the decision on whether to start No 8 Duane Vermeulen to the very last moment before their Rugby Championship Test against the All Blacks at Ellis Park.

Vermeulen is recovering from a rib cartilage injury and if he doesn’t recover in time to face New Zealand at 17:05 on Saturday, Schalk Burger will start in the No 8 jersey with Warren Whiteley coming onto the bench.

It was initially stated that a decision on Vermeulen's fitness would be made at Friday's captain's run, but according to the SA Rugbymag website, a final call on Vermeulen’s fitness won’t be made at Friday's training session at Ellis Park.

The WP hard-man will be assessed again on Saturday morning, and the Boks may wait until the last possible moment to decide whether he plays.

Saturday's Test at Ellis Park will be a sell-out, with the Golden Lions Rugby Union indicating all 62 000 tickets have been sold out.

Teams:

South Africa:

15 Willie le Roux, 14 Cornal Hendricks, 13 Jan Serfontein, 12 Jean de Villiers (captain), 11 Bryan Habana, 10 Handre Pollard, 9 Francois Hougaard, 8 Duane Vermeulen, 7 Teboho Mohoje, 6 Marcell Coetzee, 5 Victor Matfield, 4 Eben Etzebeth, 3 Jannie du Plessis, 2 Bismarck du Plessis, 1 Tendai Mtawarira

Substitutes: 16 Adriaan Strauss, 17 Trevor Nyakane, 18 Marcel van der Merwe, 19 Bakkies Botha, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Cobus Reinach, 22 Pat Lambie, 23 JP Pietersen

New Zealand:

15 Israel Dagg, 14 Ben Smith, 13 Conrad Smith, 12 Malakai Fekitoa, 11 Julian Savea, 10 Beauden Barrett, 9 Aaron Smith, 8 Kieran Reid, 7 Richie McCaw (captain), 6 Jerome Kaino, 5 Sam Whitelock, 4 Jeremy Thrush, 3 Owen Franks, 2 Keven Mealamu, 1 Joe Moody

Substitutes: 16 Dane Coles, 17 Ben Franks, 18 Charlie Faumuina, 19 Steven Luatua, 20 Liam Messam, 21 Tawera Kerr-Barlow, 22 Colin Slade, 23 Ryan Crotty

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