Cape Town – Duane Vermeulen looks likely to miss out on a starting spot in the Springboks’ first Test against France in Pretoria on June 10.
The Springbok management announced on Monday that Vermeulen is only expected to join the squad next Tuesday (June 6) – a mere four days before the first Test at Loftus Versfeld.
This is due to the player’s club commitments in France where he is playing in the Top 14 final for Toulon against Clermont this weekend.
Coach Allister Coetzee earlier signalled his intention to pick Vermeulen at No 7 flank for the series, with captain Warren Whiteley starting at No 8.
It’s unlikely that Vermeulen will start in the first Test so soon after joining the squad, which possibly paves the way for Sharks loose forward Jean-Luc du Preez.
The 21-year old Du Preez, who made his Springbok debut last November against Wales in Cardiff, was a late addition to the Bok squad which has now grown to 32 players.
Other options at No 7 for Coetzee is Siya Kolisi or Oupa Mohoje.
The second Test is scheduled for June 17 in Durban, before the third and final one in Johannesburg the following week (June 24).
Lood de Jager, Pieter-Steph du Toit, Ruan Dreyer, Jean-Luc du Preez, Eben Etzebeth, Steven Kitshoff, Siya Kolisi, Jaco Kriel, Frans Malherbe, Malcolm Marx, Bongi Mbonambi, Oupa Mohoje, Franco Mostert, Tendai Mtawarira, Lizo Gqoboka, Coenie Oosthuizen, Chiliboy Ralepelle, Duane Vermeulen, Warren Whiteley (captain)
Lukhanyo Am, Andries Coetzee, Ross Cronje, Damian de Allende, Francois Hougaard, Elton Jantjies, Jesse Kriel, Dillyn Leyds, Rudy Paige, Raymond Rhule, Jan Serfontein, Courtnall Skosan, Frans Steyn