Super Rugby
Vermeulen ruled out of finals clash
ESPN Staff
June 17, 2015
If the Stormers lose this weekend Vermeulen could have played his last Super Rugby match © Getty Images
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Duane Vermeulen could have played his last Super Rugby match after he was ruled out of this week's finals clash against the Brumbies. The back-rower will now be sweating on this weekend's result as elimination would signal the end of his Super Rugby career with the Springboks No.8 having signed the to play in France with Toulon.

The Stormers had hoped Vermeulen would progress enough from a neck spasm that prevented him playing in the South African conference decider against the Lions three weeks ago. But Stormers coach Allister Coetzee believes Vermeulen had progressed enough to be available should the Cape Town side defeat the Brumbies this Saturday.

"Duane has been improving a hell of a lot, but I don't think it's enough for this weekend," Coetzee told SuperSport. "I have ruled him out of this weekend's game, but I am hopeful that there is a chance he will be able to play in later games in the knockout phase should we get through the quarterfinal.

"It's all about getting Duane to be pain free and to have a full range of movement. At the moment that looks like it could take a couple of days or it could take a week or two. Who knows, maybe he will be back in time to play in future playoff games, but we have to be absolutely sure that he is alright. We don't want to set him back by playing him when he isn't 100 percent right."

However, if the Stormers were to lose this weekend, it could be the end of Vermeulen's Super Rugby career with the 28-year-old signing with the French glamour club after the World Cup. Vermeulen joins several international stars such as Ireland captain Paul O'Connell, England prop Matt Stevens, and potential Australian fly-half Quade Cooper.

Vermeulen has played 29 Tests for the Springboks and last year was nominated for the World Player of the Year award.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

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