Boks brace for Twickenham battle

Duane Vermeulen and Billy Vunipola are on the cover of the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, on sale today.

The two are set to collide at Twickenham on 15 November when the Boks' take on England in the toughest match of their end-of-year tour.

Vermeulen had an outstanding Rugby Championship campaign, which culminated in a Man of the Match performance against the All Blacks.

The No 8 had suffered a rib cartilage injury against the Wallabies at Newlands and was still in doubt when the Boks were warming up at Ellis Park. But he told coach Heyneke Meyer that he was good to go and was true to his word. 

‘Duane is an unbelievable warrior,’ said Meyer afterwards. ‘It was a special performance. He’s been pushing hard to be the best No 8 in the world, but after that showing, he’s pushing hard to be one of the best players in the world.’

In the new issue of SA Rugby magazine, chief rugby writer Jon Cardinelli speaks to Vermeulen about his quest to be the best, while Meyer explains what the player means to the Bok team.

Also in the new issue:

– Handré Pollard’s selection at flyhalf sparked the Springboks into action during the Rugby Championship

– Pat Lambie is fighting desperately to avoid becoming Springbok rugby’s latest forgotten man

England will have to be physically fit and mentally strong to beat the southern hemisphere's big three at Twickenham this November

– England No 8 Billy Vunipola wants to take his game to a new level

Sonny Bill Williams will go straight back into the All Blacks squad after a two-year stint in rugby league

– Saru’s transformation plan for 2019 is overambitious and unrealistic

– The introduction of a decision review system is a no-brainer but the IRB continues to stall on its adoption

Armand van der Merwe has produced several explosive performances for the Lions

– Pumas coach Jimmy Stonehouse on how he turned things around at the union and whether Nelspruit could host a Super Rugby franchise

– In an extract from his new book, John Mitchell explains what really happened behind the scenes at the Lions in 2012

– We select a Saffas in France XV based on players' form in September and early October

– Former Sharks scrumhalf Charl McLeod has settled in quickly at Grenoble

PLUS: Free 164-page SA Swimsuit magazine!

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