The Springboks will not have scrumhalf Fourie du Preez at their disposal for the crunch clash against France this weekend, after it was agreed that he be released to his Japanese club after the match against Scotland.
Du Preez started both the November international matches so far, against Wales and Scotland, but will not be on the field against France. This release was arranged before the tour commenced, and he is replaced in the squad by Jano Vermaak. It is likely that Ruan Pienaar will start the match with a bun fight between Vermaak and Louis Schreuder for the bench spot.
Meyer was quoted as saying that it was always part of the plan for Vermaak to join the team ahead of the France clash, allowing him to get some game time with Toulouse, where he has had a few good games.
Further changes to the line up are likely as Frans Malherbe and Francois Louw are both doubtful after taking knocks in the Scotland match. Louw was stretchered off the park after taking a cynical hit from Scotland’s Jim Hamilton. Malherbe hurt his rib cartilage in the match, forcing him off the field in the first half already, and it is highly unlikely that he will feature in the last tour match.Tweet