Tuesday 30 May 2017

Boks sweat on key forward pair

Lood de Jager of South Africa. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Lood de Jager of South Africa. Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
Ruaidhri O'Connor

Ruaidhri O'Connor

South Africa could be without influential forwards Duane Vermeulen and Lood de Jager for Saturday's second Test against Ireland.

As Joe Schmidt ponders whether to make changes to his side to freshen things up or to target the Test series with his strongest team, his opposite number Allister Coetzee is sweating over the pair's fitness.

Duane Vermeulen, South Africa. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Duane Vermeulen, South Africa. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Neither player has trained so far this week and they will be given late fitness tests before the team is named this afternoon.

Lions No 8 Warren Whiteley will come into the team for Vermeulen if the Toulon powerhouse's knee doesn't clear up, while Pieter Steph du Toit is on stand-by to replace de Jager who has an ankle problem.

Otherwise, Coetzee is likely to stick closely to the team that lost the first Test, with Elton Jantjes favourite to replace Pat Lambie.

Ireland coach Schmidt will have to make at least one change with CJ Stander serving his ban, but it is understood that he is contemplating bringing in more than one fresh face for the second Test as he looks to use his squad.

Irish Independent

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