VIDEO: Jake leans on World Cup winner for captaincy
BREAKING NEWS: Director of Rugby Jake White has revealed his captain for the Currie Cup competition.
World Cup-winning Springbok No.8 Duane Vermeulen will captain the Bulls in the eight-team competition – which will get underway next month and run through to December.
Arno Botha and Gio Aplon will serve as his deputies.
(Continue reading below video … )
The 34-year-old Vermeulen is no stranger to leadership roles – as he captained the Springboks against New Zealand in Wellington last year, while he also wore the Stormers’ armband in 2015.
Coupled this with his experience of both Southern and Northern Hemisphere rugby, on top of his never-back-down attitude and dedication to perfecting his craft, and it becomes easy to understand his appointment.
Loose forward Arno Botha and utility back Gio Aplon’s appointments as Vermeulen’s deputies were based on similar calculations – with Botha (28) having always been earmarked to have a hand in the Bulls’ leadership since his junior days at Loftus Versfeld, where he led the Blue Bulls at various levels including the Currie Cup.
The 37-year-old mercurial and hot stepping utility back Aplon brings a wealth of experience that includes the Stormers, Grenoble and Verblitz.
Boasting 17 Springbok caps, he certainly knows how and when to bring the magic on the field.
It is this experience that has created a level headed, tactical type of player which will serve the younger backs greatly in the coming seasons.
The Bulls have always had the privilege of having some of the finest leaders in world rugby amongst their ranks and it is no different at present with the likes of Trevor Nyakane, Morné Steyn, Nizaam Carr and Ivan van Zyl all highly capable leaders, both on and off the field.
Vermeulen thanked White for showing faith in him as a leader, while encouraging the loyal Bulls supporters during this difficult time.
“It is always a privilege to play a game of rugby and it is one I never take for granted,” the 54-times-capped Bok said.
“It’s a massive honour to be appointed captain of this group, especially at this exciting time when so much is expected from us.
“A huge thank you must go out to Jake and the management team for trusting me with this immense privilege.
“This year has been a difficult one for many South Africans but rugby will return and when it does the Vodacom Bulls will be ready to make you proud.”