Springbok Duane Vermeulen’s talks about his phasing back into the team, his contribution and presence within the Springbok squad during his injury has seemingly given him an immense amount of experience during the Rugby Championship. Recovering from an ankle injury, Vermeulen talks about his pivotal role and how difficult it was watching the team from the “outside. “
Vermeulen added that he enjoyed watching the springboks in action, especially the mauls and while assistant coach Deon David’s works closely with lineouts and set pieces, he learnt a lot from Franco Mostert and Eben Etzebeth.
When asked about his rugby bucket list, Vermeulen laughed and said “I am here. “He mentioned that during the injury management and players would keep pushing until they couldn’t any longer. “The element of slacking down would not be an option as your teammates would be present to pick you up,” he added. The most important thing was that he was looking forward to running out on the field with his teammates.
Springbok Coach Jacques Nienaber mentions that Duane Vermeulen played a huge part on technical aspects and having him on the side of the field was a tremendous help to the team. “Vermeulen’s role was to stay with the team and play his part for the team”, said Nienaber.
Vermeulen was also pleased with the performances of Jasper Wiese. “I was happy for him and it was nice to have someone fulfil my boots. It was nice working alongside him, he is a fantastic guy, “said Vermeulen.
“During the World Cup we gave 100%. The important thing was to improve by taking small steps in the correct direction. Most players have performed consistently. As each competition went by, each element was completely different while the team adjusted to the playing styles, new ways and new laws from Japan to the test matches against British & Irish Lions,” he said.
His role as side-line water boy and watching the game from the touch line was incredible as it gave players an opportunity to be extra voices to the coaches and the team. “What we see from the outside is a good introduction into phasing back into the team, “he said.
On Cheslin Kolbe’s transfer from Stade Toulouse to Toulon, Vermeulen congratulated Kolbe and stated that it was a massive bonus for Kolbe to be selected by the club, as it is filled with legends.
“Toulouse has a great off style play of rugby and with Kolbe it would add a little extra spunk in the backline. He is definitely a great asset to have.” said Vermeulen.
Vermeulen ends off by saying he is looking forward to the challenge and being back with the team on the field.
Story: Fatima Said
Photo courtesy SA Rugby