Vermeulen on moving to Ulster: 'It was a weird thing'
INTERVIEW: Watch as World Cup-winning Springbok loose forward Duane Vermeulen gives his first interview since joining Ulster.
Vermeulen, 35, spoke ahead of his new team’s European Cup Round Two encounter with Northampton Saints on Friday.
For Vermeulen, it was a great start to life in Belfast – playing a key role in Ulster’s 29-23 win over Clermont in France in Round One last week.
“It was a good win away at Clermont,” he said, adding that he only won there once in three years with Toulon.
“I felt like I slotted in nicely.”
Having had to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19 on his arrival last month, the build-up to the encounter with Northampton Saints is his first full training week.
“It was a weird thing,” the 58-times capped Bok said, when asked what was the driving force behind his decision to move to Ravenhill.
“A couple of months back I was between a rock and a hard place.
“My contract [with the Bulls] ended in South Africa and I was looking at maybe going to Japan.
“Bryn [Cunningham, Operations Director for Ulster] approached us and said: ‘You can always test the waters’.
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“My first week has been really good. We’ll see how we go from here.
“Speaking to a guy who is so passionate about the team and what it is all about, explaining what it all means, is nice to see.
“I have the same feeling and passion for the game.
“It is a place where I can learn something and also add some value.
“Hopefully this is the start of a good journey.”
He said he was looking forward to playing his first home game in front of the passionate Ulster crowd and hearing them belt out ‘Stand up for the Ulstermen‘.
“I am looking forward to the whole experience. It will be good fun.”