The Top 14 moving their end-of-season playoffs to late June was always going to cause problems.
The regular French season doesn’t finish until June 4, followed by the June 11 quarter-finals, the semis the week after and the Top 14 final on June 26.
South African Duane Vermeulen now finds himself in a tug of war as a result. Vermeulen, who moved to Toulon last summer, was expected to be named South Africa’s captain for the three-Test series against Ireland. The issue however is South Africa’s three test games take place on June 11, 18 and 25.
The South African Rugby Union has now given Vermeulen an ultimatum – report for international duty on June 5 or retire from international rugby.