South Africa’s Duane Vermeulen Puts Springboks First

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Written by Peter Pedroncelli

The Springboks take on Ireland in a three-game series in the coming weeks, and they can be sure of a solid contribution from No 8 Duane Vermeulen, who has returned from French club side Toulon to be part of the South African squad.

The ferocious player has been at the centre of a club versus country squabble, with the owner of his French club threatening not to pay Vermeulen if he returned to represent South Africa during the international window.

The former Stormers player refused to let his country down, however, and he arrived at the team hotel over the weekend to confirm his place in new coach Allister Coetzee’s plans.

Addressing the media at a training session in Cape Town, the veteran Springbok was adamant that he would never let the Boks down.

“There was absolutely no consideration on my part, I was never going to stay in France,” he explained, according to SuperSport.

“From the beginning I made it clear I wanted to continue to play international rugby and to continue playing for my country. I want to play for my country, playing for the Springboks is very dear to me, and no matter where they are playing, when they are playing or who they are playing against, I will always want to do my bit if required,” he added.

“It is all written down in the terms of my contract. I just want to play for the Boks. There is a new coach and a new team and I am looking forward to playing international rugby again,” Vermeulen clarified.

Duane Vermeulen keen to work with Coetzee again

Speaking about his reunion with former Stormers coach Coetzee, Vermeulen admitted that he is excited to be reunited with the coach under whom he captained the Cape side in 2015.

“I’ve walked a long road with Allister. So I understand his though processes, the visions that he wants to achieve,” Vermeulen said to Sport24.

“It’s unbelievably nice working with him again. It’s nice to see he still has the passion, what his vision is for Springbok rugby and what he wants to achieve. Hopefully he can get us all on the same wavelength to be focused on what we want to achieve on a yearly basis, as well as after four years,” he added.

The Castle Lager Incoming Series will see the Springboks facing Ireland on three occasions, with the first match taking place this Saturday at Newlands in Cape Town.