Duane Vermeulen says former WPRFU president Thelo Wakefield told him that the Stormers wanted to invest in their young players rather than sign him last year.
After announcing that he would be leaving Toulon, the Springbok No 8 was linked with a return to the Stormers, where he played between 2009 and 2015. There was also talk of a possible move to the rebuilding Vodacom Bulls.
It was confirmed last October that Vermeulen would be heading to Pretoria, where he would be joined by another former Stormers stalwart in hooker Schalk Brits.
‘The Bulls were the first team to reach out to me last year,’ Vermeulen told Netwerk24. ‘I felt it was the right thing to do, especially after Thelo Wakefield told me that the Stormers would rather invest in their young players.
‘I accepted it and moved on. The Bulls indicated that I could have a role to play here and when you get such a chance, you have to take it.’
Vermeulen will likely get his first run-out in Bulls colours in their warm-up against the Stormers in Cape Town on Sunday.