Duane Vermeulen has answered a Springbok SOS, but would it be wise for him to jump straight into the starting lineup against France on Saturday? The All Out Rugby team put both cases forward …
PC it would not be, and it would fly in the face of my “local is lekker” selection guideline, but if Duane Vermeulen is in Paris this week, he starts at 8th man for the Boks. No question.
It would make Allister Coetzee look a little silly given that last week Monday was deemed “too late” to join up with the Boks before a Test. But we are used to that.
Non-PC in that it will likely hurt the feelings of the loosies selected ahead of him in the initial squad, and because of his comments last year, calling the Bok environment “chaos… everyone has their own agendas.”
But if I were Dan du Preez, I would consider it an honour to learn from one of the best, and let’s be honest, given what has transpired under Coetzee, Vermeulen was not exactly wrong.
“You always get ex-players talking about the game,” said Vermeulen. “You never hear current players say anything about the game, but we are the guys who are really in there and see what is happening. I just wanted to stand up for the players. If that hinders my opportunity to be selected, then so be it.“
Seen in the light of the Springbok results since those comments, I say give that man a Bells, and a start against the French on Saturday.
Apart from being one of the greatest 8th men to grace the sport, he is a bruiser who gets over the gain line – exactly what the Boks need. It also then allows Francois Louw to focus on what he is good at – playing to the ball as an out-and-out opensider, while freeing up Siya Kolisi to play the rangy game he is good at.
Winner Chicken Dinner!
CLICK HERE to see why Zelim Nel says the big man shouldn’t start …