Springboks Duane Vermeulen and Schalk Brits may play for the Bulls next season in the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup.
Vermeulen will not be available for the Boks in the Rugby Championship due to club commitments in Japan. However, the No 8 should be in the mix when South Africa tour the northern hemisphere in November.
It’s yet to be confirmed where the former Toulon skipper will go once his contract with Kubota Spears expires at the end of January 2019. SARugbymag.co.za understands that Vermeulen has made a deal with SA Rugby, and will play Super Rugby next season.
Whether he moves to the Bulls or the Stormers will be confirmed in the next few weeks. The opportunity to work with former All Blacks coach John Mitchell at the Bulls may swing the decision. The on- and off-field struggles at the Stormers – where Vermeulen played between 2009 and 2015 – may also convince the powerful No 8 to favour Pretoria over Cape Town.
Meanwhile, Netwerk24 reports that Brits may also link up with the Bulls before the 2019 World Cup. The Bulls are looking to replace veteran hooker Adriaan Strauss, while Brits is looking for a local team after leaving Saracens at the end of the 2017-18 European season.
Brits came out of retirement to play for the Boks against England in the third Test in June. Coach Rassie Erasmus feels that the player can add value in the next year or so. The 37-year-old hooker will need to find a club to represent if he is going to stay fit and make the World Cup squad.
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