'That's a big thing': Vermeulen opens up on Bok goal
SPOTLIGHT: Springbok superstar Duane Vermeulen believes his move to Irish province Ulster can help him achieve his goal of playing for the Springboks at another World Cup.
The 2019 World Cup winner, who recently made his debut for Ulster in the European Champions Cup, will be 37 by the time the 2023 event gets underway in France.
There will be questions around whether the big No.8 can still produce the goods on the field for another few seasons.
According to the Planet Rugby website, in a recent interview with BBC Sport’s The Ulster Rugby Show, Vermeulen will be doing all he can to maintain his form.
“I always said if things didn’t work out contractually in South Africa then I’d go to play abroad,” he said.
“The Ulster offer came up and I thought, ‘maybe doing this might be good for my rugby’.
“You can always learn and maybe a change of scenery and environment will do me good. I chatted to my wife and we decided on doing that.
“I still want to play for the Springboks as well. So, if I can push towards the next World Cup as well, that’s my marker. That’s a big thing.
“If I can play and contribute I want to keep going as long as I can.”
#ICYMI: Naysayers may scoff at the suggestion, but Duane Vermeulen remains a formidable force that could be invaluable to the Boks at the World Cup in France in 2023. #SouthAfrica #Springboks https://t.co/SFL13hT6UL
— rugby365.com (@rugby365com) December 20, 2021
Vermeulen also has some big goals he wants to achieve with Ulster.
“I don’t play this game to compete, I play to win,” he added. “Everyone wants to walk off the field a winner and lift trophies – that’s what it’s all about.
“If I can contribute to something like that I’d be happy. By doing that you get younger guys looking up to you and learning from you. You don’t even have to say anything, people see the difference quickly.”
He added: “You have to have guys working towards that same goal and keep on setting goals along the way, consistently growing as a team.
“From what I have seen in my short time as part of the squad it seems the guys have that so now it’s just fine-tuning.
“In South Africa we love the maul. It’s really part of the things we do and it’s something I hope I can contribute to this squad and hopefully we can change one or two things and score a lot of maul tries.”
Source: Planet Rugby & The Ulster Rugby Show