Duane Vermeulen, a legendary rugby player for the Springboks, has announced his retirement from international rugby. This news comes after an illustrious career that spanned 11 seasons and included 76 Tests. Unfortunately, injuries prevented Vermeulen from reaching a century of appearances for the Springboks.
During his time on the field, Vermeulen primarily played at No 8 but also made appearances as a flanker and substitute. He scored three tries for South Africa throughout his career. Vermeulen made his Test debut against Australia in Perth in 2012 and concluded his international journey in the 2023 Rugby World Cup Final against New Zealand in Paris.
Vermeulen’s outstanding contributions to the sport did not go unnoticed. He won the SA Rugby Player of the Year Award twice, joining an elite group of players who have earned this honor more than once. Additionally, Vermeulen is one of only two players, alongside the late Theuns Stofberg, who have won the Currie Cup with three different unions.
Throughout his career, Vermeulen played for various teams, both domestically and internationally. He made his senior provincial debut for the Airlink Pumas in 2005 before joining the Vodacom Bulls, DHL Western Province, and the Stormers. Vermeulen even had the opportunity to play club rugby abroad for Toulon in France, the Kubota Spears in Japan, and Ulster in Ireland.
Vermeulen’s impact on the Springboks goes beyond his exceptional gameplay. He captained the team in four Tests and retired as the most-capped Springbok No 8 with two Rugby World Cup winners’ medals. He is regarded as a true legend of the sport and a formidable force for the Springboks. Vermeulen will be remembered as a leader who consistently delivered his best on and off the field.
The South African rugby family expresses their gratitude towards Vermeulen for his selfless service to his country. They also extend their best wishes to him, his wife, and their two sons for their future endeavors. Vermeulen’s retirement marks the end of an era in South African rugby, but his legacy will continue to inspire future generations.