Find out more about the Springbok who is one of the most feared carriers in the modern game

Who is Duane Vermeulen: Ten things you should know about the Springbok No 8

Duane Vermeulen is one of the most feared carriers in the modern game, as he proved in the 2019 Rugby World Cup final. The No 8 was Man of the Match against England as South Africa lifted the trophy for a third time.

Here are more facts and figures about the veteran back-rower.

Ten things you should know about Duane Vermeulen

1. Duane Vermeulen was born in Nespruit, now known as Mbombela, on 3 July 1986.

He hails from the same city as Faf de Klerk – the two even attended the same school, albeit in different age groups.

2. He played rugby under Rassie Erasmus early in his career. Back in 2006, Erasmus was the Free State Cheetahs coach, when Vermeulen was only 19.

3. His Super Rugby debut in 2007 was a painful experience. He was playing for the Cheetahs against the Blues at Eden Park when a massive collision sent his teeth through his upper lip. Erasmus was going to replace him after he received stitches but Vermeulen asked to play on.

4. Vermeulen has experience of taking on the British & Irish Lions, playing them twice in 2009 for both Western Province and the Emerging Boks.

While he narrowly lost with Western Province, the Emerging Boks famously drew 13-13 with the tourists.

Duane Vermeulen

Vermeulen is tackled by Andy Powell during the 2009 Lions tour (Getty Images)

5. He didn’t make his Test debut until 2012, at the age of 26. He started against Australia in Perth as the Springboks lost 26-19.

He made his 50th Test appearance during RWC 2019, hitting the milestone in the Boks’ opening game against New Zealand.

6. The No 8 was nominated for the 2014 World Player of the Year award after only two years of international rugby, losing out to All Blacks lock Brodie Retallick.

He was shortlisted alongside South Africa team-mate Willie le Roux.

7. He has played club rugby in France and Japan as well as South Africa. Between 2015 and 2018, he played for Toulon and from 2018 to 2020, he was with Kubota Spears.

8. In the 2019 World Cup final, Vermeulen made the most carries of any South African forward, the most metres of any forward and won two turnovers.

9. In the 2020-21 season, he led the Bulls to the Super Rugby Unlocked and Currie Cup titles, and was subsequently name SA Rugby Player of the Year.

10. Vermeulen is married to Ezél and the couple have two sons, Arnu and Zian.

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