Cape Town – Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has explained why he chatted to No 8 Duane Vermeulen via a microphone during the last Saturday's Test against Wales in Cardiff.
The incident occurred in the 62nd minute of the match when Vermeulen was handed a microphone by fitness guru Aled Walters.
"I saw how Duane injured his shoulder and was holding it, while the doctor and physio were busy attending other players," Erasmus told Netwerk24 on Monday.
"He did not see it but he was closest to Duane, so I asked him to ask Duane if he was okay. Duane could not understand why he was asking and said he wanted to talk to me quickly. He told me his shoulder was too sore to continue playing. "
Social media was abused after the incident, with some critics suggesting it undermined the captaincy of Siya Kolisi.
Thando Manana, and former Bulls loose forward who played three tour matches for the Springboks, wrote on Twitter: "Its a FACT: Duane Vermeulen will captain Springboks in 2019".
Vermeulen was struggling with the shoulder injury since the first half and was replaced by Francois Louw in the 64th minute.
World Rugby is still a comment on the matter, but according to regulation 4 (5h), and the player is not allowed to wear a communication device during a match. The onus then rests on the referee to ask the player to remove it.
Its a FACT: Duane Vermeulen will head the Springboks in 2019 pic.twitter.com/QwkH87yVv9
– ThandoManana (@TandoManana) November 24, 2018