Meyer dealt Duane blow

Duane Vermeulen is out of the June Tests.

Stormers strong man Duane Vermeulen returned home from the Stormers Super Rugby tour because of injury and conservatively won’t play again until July. It could be that he is out for the remainder of the Super Rugby season as well because of knee ligament damage.

Stormers loose-forward Rynhardt Elstadt is also out for at least six weeks as the Cape-based franchise’s season went from bad to worse in Sydney.

Vermeulen, Meyer’s first choice No 8, will be nursed back to action for the Rugby Championship in August.

His injury means a likely Bok start for Bulls No 8 Pierre Spies, who in 2012 lost international ground to Vermeulen.

Meyer also rates Sharks No 8 Ryan Kankowski but the Durban-based player has been dropped and hasn’t played in the last month.