Rugby Championship

Springbok star Duane Vermeulen signs for Irish club

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Duane Vermeulen. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
Duane Vermeulen. (Photo by Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images)
  • Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen has signed a deal with Irish outfit Ulster.
  • The 35-year-old has put pen to paper until 2023.
  • Vermeulen will join his new team after the Springboks' year-end tour to Europe in November.

Irish club Ulster on Thursday announced the signing of Springbok No 8 Duane Vermeulen.

Vermeulen, 35, will join his new team after completing his international duties with the Springboks in November.

The 2019 World Cup winner had been on the Bulls' books since last year.

Ulster announced on their official website that Vermeulen had put pen to paper at Kingspan Stadium until 2023.

Ulster head coach Dan McFarland said they were delighted to secure the 55-Test veteran's signature.

"Duane is clearly a world class player who, as the current world champions' starting 8 and MVP from the last RWC final, is set to bring depth and experience to our really talented group of back rowers.

"As well as being an undeniable talent on the pitch, I know Duane will play an important role going forward in strengthening the winning mindset we are building as a squad.

"I would also like to take this opportunity to recognise Bryn Cunningham's (Ulster's operations director) brilliant work in orchestrating this deal from start to finish. It was always going to be a difficult ask to find a difference-making 8 but Bryn has definitely achieved that," McFarland said.

Vermeulen added: "Ulster and myself had detailed discussions about the club's values, expectations and the potential role I can play going forward. It appealed and resonated with me to a point where I got very excited and decided to commit myself to this Ulster journey. I cannot wait to become part of the Ulster family and to serve as best I can."

Bulls director of rugby Jake White said they were sad to see Vermeulen leave.

"He has been a key figure in our setup since his arrival in 2020 and his influence, both on and off the field, has been immense. We wish him the very best for his future at Ulster Rugby," White said i a statement.

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