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Bulls get surprise visitor at training

SPOTLIGHT: The Bulls, in preparation for crucial back-to-back United Rugby Championship derbies, had a surprise visitor at training on Tuesday.

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Retired two-time World Cup-winning Springbok Duane Vermeulen was spotted at training at Loftus Versfeld.

The Bulls not only shared the news on their social media channels, but also confirmed that he was ‘sharing some tips’ with the team he once captained to back-to-back Currie Cup titles.

Vermeulen, 37, is spending the next two days with the Bulls, “sharing tips and catching up with some friends that he has not seen in a while”, a spokesman for the Bulls said on Tuesday.

Duane Vermeulen mini bio

Vermeulen, who confirmed at last year’s World Cup in France that he is keen to move into a coaching role post his playing career, has been linked to the Stormers and Springboks.

However, no formal announcement in that regard has been made.

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His appearance at Loftus Versfeld caused quite a stir, till the Bulls provided clarity and made it clear it was #NOT a permanent move.

Vermeulen confirmed his retirement from the game in November, just weeks after the Springboks beat the All Blacks 12-11 in the World Cup Final at Stade de France in Paris.

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His illustrious Springbok career spanned 76 Tests over 11 seasons and if it wasn’t for injuries, he would probably have racked up a century of appearances in the green and gold.

He started 68 of his Tests in the No.8 jersey, played three times at flank and five times off the bench, scoring three tries for South Africa.

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Vermeulen, who hails from Nelspruit in Mpumalanga, made his Test debut against Australia in Perth in 2012 and concluded his international journey against New Zealand in Paris.

He also won South Africa’s Player of the Year Award twice (2014 and 2020), along with an elite club of only five players who have won the award more than once since the advent of professionalism: Schalk Burger (2004, 2011), Bryan Habana (2005, 2007, 2012), Fourie du Preez (2006, 2009), Jean de Villiers (2008, 2013) and Pieter-Steph du Toit (2016, 2018, 2019).

At provincial level, Vermeulen and the late Springbok loose forward Theuns Stofberg are the only players who have won the Currie Cup with three different unions, when he lifted the coveted gold trophy with the Cheetahs (2007), Western Province (2012) and Bulls (2020).

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