Warren Whiteley has been a great leader on and off the field for the Golden Lions, Lions and Springboks, but I find it very hard to see him replacing firstly Kolisi as Springbok captain and secondly Vermeulen at the number 8 jumper.
It was a great year for Whiteley in 2017 when he played some of his best rugby for the Lions in Super Rugby and deservedly was named by then Springbok coach Coetzee, as the captain for the Springboks.
The captaincy was short lived as Whiteley was initially only supposed to have been out for six to eight weeks when he injured himself while training with the Boks during their three-match June Test series against France last year.
Almost a year later and due to a misdiagnosis and various complications, Whiteley had been earmarked to return for the crucial three-Test June series against England, but that also did not happened.
Whiteley did not take part in much of Super Rugby this year and although originally cleared to go on a four-match Australasian tour in April after recovering from the knee injury he picked up against the Blues earlier in the season, Whiteley was withdrawn from the squad after re-injuring the same knee.
In the meantime Vermeulen has returned from France and have been a revelation at the back of the scrum for the Springboks and one found it very hard to see him being replaced by Whiteley.
There is the option for Erasmus to move Vermeulen to the side of the scrum to make way for Whiteley at the back.
Erasmus has made a masterclass move when he appointed Kolisi as the captain for the Springbok against the English team.
This just not brought the nation together but has been the right call which Coetzee should have made last year when he appointed Etzebeth as captain.
It would be very difficult to see how Erasmus can justify given the captaincy back to Whiteley when he do return to the side.
For Whiteley it will be an important few months ahead to show not just that he is back to his best but also that he is good enough for the Springbok jumper after the lengthy lay-off.
Vermeulen is likely to not be available for all the Rugby Championships test with him going to play a short stint in Japan.
This gives Whiteley the perfect opportunity to proof to the coach and himself that he is ready for the Springboks and the World Cup next year.
Personally I would not have a Springbok squad without Whiteley but it will take another masterclass from Erasmus to find the right place for him in the squad and in his leadership group.