Vermeulen still has Springbok dream

Exeter Chiefs flank Jacques Vermeulen says he dreams of playing for the Springboks after claiming a European and domestic double in his first season with the club.

The Exeter Chiefs on Saturday sealed their very first European and domestic double after beating Wasps in the Premiership final to win the title.

Vermeulen has been a major part of the Chiefs’ historic 2019-20 season, playing 15 Premiership games and eight times in the Champions Cup, starting in the European final against Racing 92.

The 25-year-old former Junior Springbok only joined Exeter from the Sharks last year, but has adapted excellently to life in England’s southwest.

Speaking to City Press about his move to England, Vermeulen outlined his desire to continue pushing for a place in the Springbok squad, with the British & Irish Lions series looming on the horizon.

‘The fact that I decided to come and play in England does make things a bit more difficult,’ Vermeulen addmitted. ‘But the team is playing well and if I can keep performing well at the club, I believe that opportunity still exists.

‘It’s good that overseas players can be picked. [Toulouse loose forward] Rynhardt Elstadt was recently called up [in 2019] and he plays overseas, so one hopes to get noticed, too.

‘My goal is to play for the Springboks. Me and my housemate, [former Bulls flank and Exeter teammate] Jannes Kirsten joke with each other and say we hope that we can win the Champions Cup every year so they will notice us.

‘At the moment, we can’t do anything but try to play as well as we possibly can. It’s the only way to get noticed.

‘It’s my dream to play for the Boks. And dreams do come true.  So I will keep dreaming and trying to deliver the performance that will get me there.’


Photo: David Davies/PA Images via Getty Images