South Africa have reportedly signed former international Duane Vermuelen as the new defence coach.
The decision follows after World Cup winning head coach Jacques Nienaber left his role to take up a position with Leinster leading to a overhaul of the backroom staff. According to a report from SARugbyMag.com, South Africa Rugby has already made the appointment with the announcement set to be named in due course.
Vermuelen announced retirement from professional rugby post their successful Rugby World Cup campaign and has 76 Test appearances to his name. He also has won the 2019 Rugby World Cup where he won the man of the match performance in the victorious final against England and also enjoyed a title win in the 2023 edition in France.
He also has a rich experience in domestic rugby that spanned over 18 years and won Currie Cup with Toyota Cheetahs (2007), DHL Western Province (2012) and Vodacom Bulls (2020). He also won the SA Rugby Player of the Year Award twice in 2014 and 2020.
Earlier, Stormers head coach John Dobson said Vermeulen is 'technically outstanding' and has the potential to take a coaching role.
“We started talking with Duane last year,” Dobson said. “We knew he was going to retire and he was keen to stay in Cape Town. We reached an idea where he could look after the forwards in our pathway, which is very important, making sure those guys are technically strong.
“He is technically outstanding. He acts as a player-coach wherever he goes, he certainly did at Ulster and I suspect very much at the Springboks. If we could get him up here that would be great. But it is subject to a few things.
“We are in a curious place, this twilight area, where the equity deal has been approved by the clubs, but it is not through the final processes yet, in terms of signing it and going through the competition commission.
“So it is curious. We are still under full administration. The Red Disa consortium doesn’t have full control, but they also have to get insight into what we spend during this period. We can’t laden them with all sorts of spending.
“We see how Duane fits in here, and we think he is keen to come and we are keen to have him. But it still does need some movement off the field. There’s a will for everybody to make it happen. So hopefully we can get it wrapped up in the next couple of weeks.”