Vermaak who is now plying his trade for Toulouse, made his debut for the Boks against Scotland earlier this year and has won three caps since. Vermaak replaces Fourie du Preez who has left the squad under an agreement with his club in Japan.
“Fourie will be sorely missed as he was man of the match in two of the five Tests he played this season,” said Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer. He really put his body on the line the last fortnight, and we are very fortunate though to replace him with another world class player in Ruan Pienaar. It was always part of the plans for Jano to join the team for the France week.” Said coach Heyneke Meyer.
Kirsten joins up with the squad after a rookie Frans Malherbe suffered a rib cartilage injury against the Scots. While there is a chance that Malherbe will be able to face France on the weekend, the Boks need to adhere to the IRB ruling that they have a complete front row on the bench in each international match. Hence the call for the green horn Kirsten.
“We’ve been watching Frik quite closely over the last few seasons and he’s really done very well, He’s played for the SA Under-20 team, took part in one of our training camps last year and was the next player on our standby list. I feel sorry for Frans, as he’s performed strongly in his two first Tests. He certainly has a great future ahead of him and it was good to see him take the step up to Test match.” Concluded Meyer.