Duane, Willie vie for Bok gong

Vermeulen and Le Roux (Gallo Images)
Vermeulen and Le Roux (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Sport24 readers reckon the choice for best Springbok of 2013 is a straight shootout between Duane Vermeulen and Willie le Roux.

The Stormers No 8 and Cheetahs wing/fullback were regarded to be the best forward and back of the season respectively by Sport24 readers, garnering 29% of the vote each.

Vermeulen and Le Roux were shortlisted along with fellow Springboks Bismarck du Plessis, Eben Etzebeth and Jean de Villiers for SA Rugby’s biggest rugby award, Player of the Year, after strong performances throughout 2013.

Springbok captain and Stormers centre De Villiers was in a rich vein of form as he led from the front for the Boks, guiding his country to 10 Test wins (from 12 starts) in 2013, one of their most successful season in recent history, coming third with 18% of the vote.

Etzebeth established himself as one of the best second rows in world rugby, yet despite his IRB World Player of the Year nomination, Etzebeth could only garner a mere 14% of the vote - more proof perhaps that the hard work in the engine room often goes ignored?

Bismarck du Plessis, the only Springbok to win a major trophy this year in the Currie Cup, came last in our online poll with 10%, suggesting that he may unfairly have to pay the penalty for to his highly controversial sending-off against the All Blacks in Auckland perhaps?

Sport24 asked:

"The fans have spoken... and narrowed the SARU Player of the Year nominees for 2013 down to FIVE. Who gets your vote?"

These were the results:

29% - Duane Vermeulen
29% - Willie le Roux
18% - Jean de Villiers
14% - Eben Etzebeth
10% - Bismarck du Plessis

All five of SA's player of the year nominees were chosen to play for the Baabaas against Fiji, however Eben Etzebeth withdrew due to injury. (Gallo Images)
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