Vermeulen returns for the Springboks ahead of Wallabies clash
‘Thor’, as Duane Vermeulen has become known, will run out in the No 8 jersey, meaning Jasper Wiese moves to the bench.
CAPE TOWN - After being sidelined with an injury during the recent British and Irish Lions series, stalwart Duane Vermeulen has been named in the Springbok side that's gearing up to face the Wallabies in the Rugby Championship on Sunday.
‘Thor’, as Vermeulen has become known, will run out in the No 8 jersey, meaning hat Jasper Wiese moves to the bench.
There are also returns to the starting team for scrumhalf, Faf de Klerk, and wing, S’bu Nkosi, who replace Cobus Reinach and Cheslin Kolbe respectively.
Kolbe was injured in training last week and was not eligible for selection due to him not training on the Monday ahead of the Test match.
On the bench, coach Jacques Nienaber has gone for a six-two split that includes three loose forwards – Wiese, Kwagga Smith and Marco van Staden.
“I know it looks weird having three loose-forwards among the reserves but you do have to look at who is playing in the starting team. One of our locks is starting at loose-forward, so we effectively have three locks in the group. But you are definitely 100% right, it is going to be a high-tempo game and the selection was made around that,” said Nienaber on his bench selection.
Australia have lost their last two games against the All Blacks and will be looking to bounce back against the visiting 2019 World Champions.
Springbok starting team:
15 Willie le Roux
14 Sbu Nkosi
13 Lukhanyo Am
12 Damian de Allende
11 Makazole Mapimpi
10 Handre Pollard
9 Faf de Klerk
8 Duane Vermeulen
7 Franco Mostert
6 Siya Kolisi (captain)
5 Lood de Jager
4 Eben Etzebeth
3 Frans Malherbe
2 Bongi Mbonambi
1 Steven Kitshoff
Replacements: 16 Malcolm Marx, 17 Ox Nche, 18 Vincent Koch, 19 Marco van Staden, 20 Kwagga Smith, 21 Jasper Wiese, 22 Herschel Jantjies, 23 Damian Willemse