Duane Vermeulen is relishing the opportunity to lead the Vodacom Bulls against the Jaguares at Loftus this Saturday.
With Handré Pollard rested this week due to Springbok World Cup protocols, Vermeulen will assume the leadership reins as the Bulls go in search of a fifth win this season.
‘It’s pretty special, I have to thank the coach for seeing the potential in me,’ he commented. ‘I’m happy to lead the team, especially against an international [quality] side. We’ve got a good bunch of players, guys that back you, and it should make the transition to leadership a lot easier.’
Vermeulen recently returned to South Africa after three successful seasons with French side Toulon, and is aiming to cement his place in Rassie Erasmus’ squad for the World Cup later this year.
Following his announcement that he would be making his way back to South Africa last year, most presumed he would rejoin the Stormers, where he played from 2009 to 2015. However, the industrious forward was snapped up by the Blue Bulls instead.
The Springbok stalwart has quickly settled in at Loftus, having made a considerable impression at the start of this Vodacom Super Rugby season. Vermeulen has also provided leadership within the squad, and will captain the side for the first time on Saturday.
‘It’s fantastic. I think the coaches, the staff, all the players are really accommodating, and they help you to settle in as quickly as possible,’ Vermeulen told the media on Wednesday when asked what it was like to be playing his rugby out of Pretoria. ‘I must say it’s a pretty special place, when you walk around you can feel it.
‘I am just happy to be part of this team and it’s great to be playing my rugby back in South Africa,’ he added.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix