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In their darkest hour, the Springboks are recalling a true powerhouse

South Africa form a huddle after losing to New Zealand

Duane Vermeulen is set to make a Test comeback against France after being called up to the South Africa squad to replace Coenie Oosthuizen.

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Vermeulen has not played for the Springboks since June last year, but the number eight is back in the reckoning for the clash at Stade de France.

Oosthuizen has flown home after sustaining a serious knee injury in a heavy defeat to Ireland at the Aviva Stadium last weekend.

Loose forward Pieter-Steph du Toit has also been ruled out the encounter with Les Bleus in Paris due to a concussion suffered against Joe Schmidt’s men.

An SA Rugby statement said: “Experienced No 8 Duane Vermeulen has been called up to the Springbok squad as a replacement for Coenie Oosthuizen, who sustained a serious knee injury on Saturday in Dublin.

“Oosthuizen underwent a scan before flying home from Dublin, and the results showed that he has sustained medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligament damage which will require surgery and an extended period of time of out of the game.

“Vermeulen, who plays for French club Toulon, is set to join the Springbok squad on Monday at their base in Paris.”

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Turlough 6 hours ago
'Let them keep talking' - Mike Catt claps back over Bok remarks

“You want that – not hatred – but whatever it is that stirs it all up. It’s good.” Agree with this. If you can put a common motivating idea in all your players heads during a game it can produce a real Team perfromance. Erasmus is pretty expert at this. It is quite clear that the comments by Etzebeth, Allende and others were not coincidence and were actioned to create animoisty before the series in order to galvanise the South African mind set. While I understand it, I don’t like it. They result in unnessary vitriol between supporters and for what? I don’t think any of the SA players seriously believe any of these claims and with Ireland ignoring them Erasmus won’t get the escalation he seeks. The vitriol shown by some SA and indeed NZ supporters is extremely weird for NH supporters (OK, maybe England have felt it) but it just feels very odd over a sport. Ireland were more or less sh1t for the first 100 years of their rugby, they have improved significantly in the last 25 to be in a position around now (it may not last) to go into a match with the big guns with a real shot of winning. The reaction to this from some SH supporters has been bizarre with conspiracy theories of ‘Arrogance’ fueling abuse from supporters and even NZ players to Irish crowds during the world cup. I love International rugby and the comraderie between supporters. I genuinely dread and dislike the atmosphere around games with the southern giants. They take this very personally. NH teams: play them, try and beat them, enjoy the craic with their players and supporters and wish them well. SH teams wish them well and they call you arrogant in the press months later. Its just a matter of try and beat them and then good riddance til the next time.

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