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Doubts remain over De Klerk and Du Toit as Vermeulen trains with the Boks

The Springboks will name their team for the third Test tomorrow.

De Klerk appeared to injure his hip.
De Klerk appeared to injure his hip.
Image: PA

INFLUENTIAL NUMBER EIGHT Duane Vermeulen is training with the Springboks today after returning to their camp in Cape Town yesterday.

The 35-year-old World Cup winner had ankle surgery just seven weeks ago but has made a swift recovery and is now in the mix to feature in this weekend’s third Test against the Lions.

It’s a big boost for Rassie Erasmus and Jacques Nienaber’s side but they do have injury worries over key men Pieter-Steph du Toit and Faf de Klerk.

2019 World Rugby player of the year du Toit was forced off in the 21st minute of last Saturday’s second Test with the shoulder injury he suffered in a tackle from Lions wing Duhan van der Merwe.

Scrum-half de Klerk appeared to suffer a hip injury as he launched a box kick in the second half and was swiftly replaced by Herschel Jantjies.

The Boks then called up uncapped Sharks scrum-half Jaden Hendrikse to their squad yesterday, hinting that there are concerns over de Klerk.

The South Africans have also called up back row/lock Dan du Preez, wing Rosko Specmanm and uncapped hooker Johan Grobbelaar.

Nienaber is due to name the Springboks’ starting XV and bench for the third Test tomorrow afternoon and South African fans will be hoping to see both du Toit and de Klerk involved along with the returning Vermeulen.

“We are in the 48-hour protocol of assessing all injuries,” said Boks assistant coach Deon Davids today.

“The medical staff are working closely with the coaching group and we’ll make an announcement on that tomorrow. 

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“It’s fantastic to have a guy like Duane in the group. He will join the training session today and was already in our review meetings this morning, so hopefully we will have more information on his position tomorrow.”

There were no citings in the Springboks’ 23 after their ill-tempered second Test victory, with only Lions replacement prop Kyle Sinckler now facing a disciplinary hearing after an alleged bite on Franco Mostert.

There had been speculation that de Klerk and Cheslin Kolbe could face citings but the Boks are in the clear. 

“We’re quite satisfied that the process has been followed,” said Davids.

“Our coaching staff trust the processes of World Rugby and whatever decision they take, we trust the process and will abide to that going forward.”

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Murray Kinsella

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