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

By Peter Thompson
South Africa form a huddle after losing to New Zealand

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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.

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“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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