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Springbok double World Cup winner Vermeulen to retire

Veteran Duane could venture into coaching

Duane Vermeulen
Duane Vermeulen
Image: Gallo Images/Sydney Seshibedi

South Africa back row Duane Vermeulen will retire from rugby having helped the Springboks claim back-to-back World Cup titles, South African Rugby president Mark Alexander said on Wednesday.

Vermeulen, 37, won 76 caps in an 11-year national team career and would likely have topped a century of appearances had it not been for injuries.

He grew a reputation as a powerful tackler, strong ball-carrier and expert at the breakdown, and was a major leader within the Springbok squad.

Vermeulen won the majority of his caps at number eight, but did also play as a flanker, including in the most recent World Cup win in France last month.

"Duane will forever be regarded as one of the real hard men of South African rugby – he was not only a formidable force for the Springboks but also a multifaceted player who consistently delivered his best," Alexander said in a statement.

"He was a leader who captained South Africa in four tests, but he also retired as the most-capped Springbok number eight with two Rugby World Cup winners’ medals – a wonderful achievement for a player who will be remembered as a true legend of the sport."

Vermeulen has been linked with a move into coaching and did not discount it when asked recently.

"If you had asked me this a couple of years ago, I would probably have said no," he said. "But when you finish (your playing career) you want to give back to the younger guys.

"If the opportunity arises, I would love to stay in the game. I love it and it is difficult to just step away when you have played professionally for 19 years."


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