Duane stands by statements

Duane Vermeulen says he sticks by his assertion that South African rugby is in a state of 'chaos'.

Vermeulen spoke out at the beginning of last month when he highlighted a number of issues facing SA rugby. Although the Bok No 8 insisted at the time that he wanted to work towards finding a solution to the Springboks' woes, he admitted he couldn't currently see a 'positive outcome'.

In a follow-up interview with The Telegraph, Vermeulen reiterated that it had been important to take a stand at a time when the Springboks have recently suffered a number of historic defeats.

'You always get ex-players talking about the game. You never hear current players say anything about the game, but we are the guys who are really in there and see what is happening. Maybe I am the first active player to voice their opinion, but that is a good thing.

'I just wanted to stand up for the players. Other people feel they cannot say anything. If that hinders my opportunity to be selected, then so be it. I stand by what I said. It is just giving people the facts of what is going on.'

Vermeulen is back in action with Toulon after missing the majority of the Rugby Championship due to injury, while he was omitted from the Boks' end-of-year tour squad after his conditioning was apparently deemed to not be up to Test standard.

Although the 37-Test capped Bok said he still wanted to be involved with the national side in the future, he admitted that it was now just a case of waiting to see what happened.

'The most important thing is that people should pull in the same direction. At the moment, it is just chaos. Everyone has their own agendas. That's my opinion. That's how I felt within the set-up.'

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Photo: Johan Pretorius/Gallo Images

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Craig Lewis