Cape Town – The Bulls will have to manage without No 8 Duane Vermeulen for half of their four-match Australasian tour.
According to Rapport, Vermeulen will only be available for the Bulls’ first two matches on tour before returning home to South Africa where he will be rested in line with Springboks’ policy to rest top players for parts of the Super Rugby tournament.
The burly No 8 will therefore be available for the Bulls’ matches against the Rebels in Melbourne (May 17) and Brumbies in Canberra (May 24), but miss the games in New Zealand against the Blues in Auckland (May 31) and Highlanders in Dunedin (June 7).
The Bulls also confirmed that flyhalf Handre Pollard would have to sit out one of their tour games.
“It’s a blow to lose a guy like Duane. He is world class,” coach Pote Human said.
Following last Friday’s 45-13 home defeat to the Crusaders, Human’s charges will be under immense pressure on tour.
They currently lie second in the SA conference after six wins from 11 matches and are seventh on the overall standings.
However, failure to record a few wins on tour could see them slip out of playoff contention.
Bulls touring squad:
Schalk Brits, Trevor Nyakane, Duane Vermuelen, Simphiwe Matanzima, Lizo Gqoboka, Conraad van Vuuren, Wiehahn Herbst, Johan Grobbelaar, Jaco Visagie, Jannes Kirsten, Hanro Liebenberg, RG Snyman, Paul Schoeman, Marco van Staden, Jason Jenkins
Burger Odendaal, Handre Pollard (captain), Rosko Specman, Manie Libbok, Johnny Kotze, Dylan Sage, Divan Rossouw, Andre Warner, Ivan van Zyl, Warrick Gelant, Embrose Papier, Cornal Hendricks